University of Michigan and its nurses still haven't resolved request to increase health insurance contribution
A request for the University of Michigan’s 4,000 nurses to pay more for their health insurance still hasn’t been resolved in contract negotiations between the medical center and union officials.
U-M and the representatives for the nurses, who have been working without a contract all month, most recently met on Saturday.
The next step, she said, is to meet with members “to figure out where they go from here.”
U-M is requesting that nurses pay 30 percent more toward their health insurance premiums, Sincox said.
Officials from U-M have said that other bargaining units across the campus already have agreed to the increase. The monthly health plan contribution paid by the average full-time MNA member is $127.47, union officials said.
It’s a typical request from medical centers throughout Michigan, Sincox added, as rising premiums and the economy put pressures on budgets.
While the dollar amount coming out of pocket would vary by member, Sincox said, she also described it as a substantial increase.
U-M and the nurses have other outstanding issues to resolve, Sincox said, but the health care contribution issue will affect negotiations the most. Once that is resolved, the union and health system will weigh additional issues.
A date for a membership meeting hasn’t been set, Sincox said.
“It will happen by the end of the month,” she added in an email follow-up to an interview.
However, Sincox said, she believes both sides are willing to resume negotiations. A U-M spokeswoman confirmed that on Tuesday morning, adding that the university is waiting for the nurses to indicate they are ready to start talks again.
At this time, there is no movement toward a strike although without a signed contract, that possibility cannot be ruled out.