U-M Health Systems And Nurses Fail To Reach Agreement On New Contract

Staffing and cuts to retirement among the issues.

July 01, 2018 - 5:31 pm

ANN ARBOR (WWJ) - A financial impasse remains for close to 6,000 registered nurses serving the University of Michigan Health System -- now known as "Michigan Medicine" -- who are working today without a contract.  Negotiations broke off last night without a deal.

"The university, it appears to us, is more concerned about amassing profits, than ensuring that everybody has what they need to take care of the patients," says Katie Oppenheim chair of the Michigan Nurses Association, "at the same time, as they are announcing massive, multi-million dollar profits, they are looking to cut areas like nursing."

Although some progress was made in negotiations which went well into the night, WWJ has been told "significant issues" remain unresolved -- including, staffing concerns and proposals to cut nurses’ retirement coverage. 

"We want to make sure that we are working for a place that is about more than making money, or taking care of people who have special titles with their concierge Victors program (Victors Care) - where special people get special access to care. Everybody deserves to have exactly the same access to health care." 

Other "significant issues" include staffing concerns and proposals to cut nurses’ retirement coverage.  Negotiations are set to resume July 9, in the meantime, Oppenheim says, the nurses will continue to work.

Faculty at the university have called the Victors Care program elitist and exclusive notes the Michigan Daily

Billed as "a concierge medical care model aiming to deliver tailored health care access to a limited number of patients."

Negotiations are not set to resume until one week from Monday, July 9th.