August 12, 2022


Health for a better future

Michigan Medicine nurses rally for fair contract in Ann Arbor

Nurses and others gathered in Ann Arbor Saturday to rally in support of a new contract for nurses at Michigan Medicine in addition to safer working conditions at the health system.

Donned in red and carrying handmade signs, about 1,000 off-duty nurses and their supporters  gathered in Fuller Park and marched around the hospital, chanting for a fair contract for nurses, who’ve been working without one since July 1.

The 6,200 members of the Michigan Nurses Association-University of Michigan Professional Nurse Council have been working without a contract since July 1 and are seeking a pact that ensures the health and safety of patients and nurses.

Speakers including state Rep. Felicia Brabec, D-Pittsfield,  U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn, and nurses union  leadership described key issues, sunderstaffing and mandatory overtime, that create hazardous working conditions for nurses and jeopardize patient care.

“Since the pandemic began, it’s the nurses that are on the front lines,” Dingell said. “People don’t understand what it’s been like for (nurses) on the front lines, helping so many people.” 

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell speaks at an informational picket in support of U-M nurses for a fair contract and safe patient care at Fuller Park in Ann Arbor on July 16, 2022.

Said Anne Jackson, a registered nurse: “It started getting really severe in July 2020 when (Michigan Medicine) did their cuts.

“They laid off 788 very important support staff. Well, their jobs didn’t go away — they just got given to the nurses.”

In a statement released Saturday morning, Michigan Medicine said it is continuing to work with the nurses union to  forge a new labor agreement.