The University of Michigan Professional Nurse Council (UMPNC) has been in contract negotiations with the University of Michigan for over six months. The University has been holding firm on not making any significant concessions which is making the possibility of a strike by the 4000 unionized nurses more and more likely.
I have a friend who is a U of M nurse. She told me, “I have voted Republican my whole life. But now it seems like they just want to screw us. It’s not fair. We work hard and deserve to be treated with respect and to be paid a fair wage with good benefits.” It’s clear to me that the statewide Republican effort to demonize unions is starting to convert some former Republicans to the Democratic party which is far more supportive of their position. And it’s turning people like my friend, someone who has never been on a picket line and has never been politically active, into labor activists.
There is a rally and march to support the U of M nurses this Wednesday, October 12. The rally is at 4:30 p.m. and the march starts at 5:00 p.m.
Rally to Support U of M Registered Nurses
What: We are continuing our fight for a contract that will allow us to provide the best possible care for our patients. Please join us at the rally and march to show your support of U of M nurses.
When: October 12, 2011 – Rally at 4:30 p.m., march at 5:00 p.m.
Where: Liberty Plaza – 310 S. Division Street, Ann Arbor, MI
Wear red to support the nurses.
Wear good walking shoes to support your feet.
A final note from the UMPNC website:
As the negotiations become increasingly difficult, we should expect the Employer to communicate directly with you to influence your opinion. As UMHS management become more desperate, we should expect their communications to become more aggressive and intimidating. But UMHS’ focus in these negotiations are to “cut costs” and to become “more productive.” The bargaining team’s focus is to negotiate a fair contract on behalf of our members and patients.
While the Employer has modified their proposal somewhat since July, there remain numerous and significant concessions that will negatively impact UMPNC membership. As you know, great nurses who provide excellent care have told us they will leave UMHS to work closer to home. The bargaining team has nothing to gain by prolonging these negotiations except to negotiate a better contract. The success at the bargaining table will be driven by how strong the membership is. We must stay strong, focused, and united!! In solidarity!