Unionized nurses ratify 4-year agreement with University of Michigan


Soraya Marashi


On Monday, members of the Michigan Nurses Association-University of Michigan Professional Nurse Council (MNA-UMPNC) voted to ratify a tentative agreement with University of Michigan Health. MNA-UMPNC nurses have been working without a contract since July 1st.


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Nurses represented by the MNA-UMPNC filed a lawsuit against the university in August over claims that the university refused to bargain over nurses’ workload ratios in contract negotiations. 96% of participating MNA-UMPNC members voted to give their elected nurse bargaining team authority to call a strike in protest of their working conditions, though no work stoppages ever took place.

The ratified contract is effective immediately and runs through March 31st, 2026. The contract provides a $273 million package that includes a 22.5% raise over the course of 4 years. Nurses will receive a 7.5% wage increase in the first year of the contract, a 6% increase in the second year, a 5% increase in the third year, and a 4% increase in the fourth year. Nurse practitioners will be placed on a new salary scale. 

Nurses will also receive a $5,000 ratification bonus and a $2,000 retention bonus on the contract’s conclusion date. 

According to MNA-UMPNC, the contract also includes enforceable and safe nurse-to-patient ratios, with the university possibly subject to fines if it fails to comply. 

U-M Health said the nurse-to-patient ratio provision in the agreement would allow them to “continue the industry-leading staffing levels that we have historically maintained, while creating an improved process for managing situations in which a demonstrated pattern exists showing that staffing levels have not been met.”

The contract also includes an end to mandatory overtime except in cases of certain emergency situations. 

“Our exemplary nurses are a valued and crucial part of our world class healthcare team,” U-M Health Chief Nurse Executive Nancy May said. “We believe this generous package will help us continue to retain and recruit excellent nurses. We look forward to working with our nursing community as we continue our efforts to bring top-ranked healthcare to our patients and communities across the state and beyond.”

MNA-UMPNC leadership also highlighted how the agreement will address their grievances by improving working conditions for nurses and helping with staffing issues.

“This contract provides important investments in nurses and protections for patients that MNA-UMPNC nurses and our community fought hard for over the past six months,” Renee Curtis, President of MNA-UMPNC, said in a statement. “We’re excited about being able to hold the employer accountable for safe nurse-to-patient ratios and end dangerous mandatory overtime. Strong wage increases and bonuses will help attract and retain the nurses we need to take care of our patients.”