University of Michigan nurses reach tentative contract agreement

University of Michigan's University Hospital is shown in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, March 21, 2020. (Paul Sancya, The Associated Press 2020)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – A deal is now in place to keep nurses with the University of Michigan off the picket lines.

The Michigan Nurses Association-University of Michigan Professional Nurse Council (MNA-UMPNC) has reached a tentative agreement with the university.

Both sides have been negotiating since March 15. Nurses have been working under an expired contract since June 30.

In the first week of September, the union voted to allow its bargaining team to call A strike. It appears a strike has been averted for now.

The union president released the following statement:

“Through our months of solidarity and collective action, nurses have stood strong to reach an agreement that meets our members’ priorities of protecting patients and investing in nurses so we can provide the best care possible. MNA-UMPNC nurses want to thank our community for all their support and advocacy over the months. Our elected nurse negotiating team is unanimous in believing that this agreement is a win for everyone who cares about nurses and the quality of care at the University of Michigan.”

Renee Curtis, RN, president of MNA-UMPNC

Nurses were frustrated over their workloads, pay and parking.

The new contract appears to address some of the issues.

The union says the tentative agreement includes an end to mandatory overtime, an improved mechanism for enforcing contractual workload ratios and competitive wages to recruit and retain skilled nurses.

More details are to be released after union members review and vote on the deal.