TRAVERSE CITY, MI – Nurses at Munson Medical Center represented by the Michigan Nurses Association overwhelmingly voted to ratify their first contract.
The agreement limits forced overtime, provides nurses a formal structure to address RN staffing levels, and implements new workplace safety procedures that will benefit patients. Nurses also won a 13% raise over the course of the three-year contract, which will help to recruit and retain quality RNs.
The nurses’ victory at Munson Medical Center makes this the largest successful unionization effort since Michigan went “Right to Work” in 2013. It is also the largest newly unionized workplace in any “Right to Work” state in the country in over five years.
“We are proud to have achieved a historic contract for our patients and our community,” said Shelly DuBois, RN. “Nurses came together to have a voice in our hospital.”
In addition to other gains, nurses have won improved scheduling standards, an enforceable grievance procedure, and guaranteed health care levels through their union contract.
“Before we formed our union, we did not have a legitimate voice in decisions that affect quality care,” said James Walker, RN. “Now, we’ve taken a huge step forward. This is a fair contract that puts patients first.”
This is the second time that nurses represented by the Michigan Nurses Association have won a first contract in less than a year. Nurses at DMC Huron Valley Sinai Hospital in Commerce Township ratified their first contract in November.
“The tide is turning for RNs and working people in Michigan,” said John Karebian, Executive Director of the Michigan Nurses Association. “This is a decisive statement for RNs throughout the state and serves as a roadmap for nurses organizing to build better lives for their families and their communities. I am thrilled for the Munson nurses and commend their determination and solidarity.”
Jamie Brown, RN and President of the Michigan Nurses Association said: “As health care systems become more corporate, nurses want to make sure that administrators prioritize patient care over the bottom line. Nurses are in unions all across Michigan because we know that together we can make sure that patients come before profits.”
MNA members at Munson Medical Center announced in December that their union had purchased and forgiven $8.9 million worth of medical debt in northern Michigan.