University of Michigan Nurses Hope Work Stoppage Threat Revives Comatose Contract Talks

Labor leaders of a union representing 5,700 nurses in the University of Michigan health system say they are still waiting for a breakthrough in stalled contract talks.

Quinn Klinefelter/WDET

That’s after an overwhelming majority of members voted to authorize a three-day work stoppage if there was no movement in the negotiations.

Spokespeople for Michigan Medicine, which is in charge of the university’s hospitals, say they have offered competitive contract packages since January.

They also note that it is illegal for public employees to go on strike and vow to take legal action if union employees walk out.

But leaders of the University of Michigan Professional Nurses Council say that’s why they voted for a work stoppage rather than a strike.


The nurses also filed a federal lawsuit claiming the university is violating their First Amendment right to exercise free speech.

They say it’s not just semantics.

Nurses maintain it is legal for public employees to stage a work stoppage, except for teachers.

Union member and RN Katie Scott tells WDET’s Quinn Klinefelter the organized labor group believes the move might be necessary because she says the university is not bargaining in good faith.


Click the audio link above to hear the full interview

Image credit: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

About the Author

Quinn Klinefelter

Senior News Editor

I grab news in the morning, check the papers and the wires, call sources and take a big gulp of coffee. That’s how I start the day.  

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