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Posted on Wed, Oct 12, 2011 : 9:12 p.m.

University of Michigan nurses: 'We will not be ignored'

By Juliana Keeping

Jaquie Taylor marched in front of the University of Michigan Health System to support her daughter, who became a nurse after witnessing the nursing care an uncle with multiple sclerosis received.

Taylor was among more than 400 nurses and supporters who rallied and picketed for over two hours Wednesday evening in support of a favorable outcome in a contested contract negotiation between the 4,000-member nurses union and its employer.

“Patients are given the best care here,” Taylor said. “They (the nurses) should be paid for it. They’re dedicated in what they do.”

At issue in the ongoing contract dispute are changes to paid time off, overtime and health insurance premiums the nurses characterize as major concessions. The two sides have met more than 40 times since April to try to resolve their differences.

They return to the bargaining table on Thursday, with the help of a state-appointed mediator, said Ann Kettering Sincox, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Nurses Association, the collective bargaining representative for U-M's nurses.

Additionally, both sides have begun a “fact finding” period. That means the nurses and U-M will gather evidence to present to a state-appointed “fact finder” at a formal hearing. Then, the fact finder will make a non-binding recommendation on a new contract, said Ruthanne Okum, the director of the Michigan Employment Relations Commission, which oversees the process.

Speakers at a rally before the march included State Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County Commissioner Yousef Rabhi, recently elected Michigan AFL-CIO President Karla Swift and others.

With protesters carrying signs with slogans like “Heal America, Tax Wall Street,” and speakers characterizing the concessions as an “attack on middle class working families,” the message reflected the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protests sweeping the nation.

Katie Oppenheim, president of the U-M Professional Nurse Council, told the crowd a favorable contract would ensure U-M retained high quality and highly trained nurses.

"We will not be ignored," she said.

The nurses left Liberty Plaza at East Liberty and South Division streets, chanting slogans like “U of M, heads up, the nurses won’t give up,” before circling in front of University Hospital on East Medical Center Drive.

The health system's leaders say it faces a tough budget year and harder times ahead, brought on in part by the opening of the new children and women's hospital and changes required by federal health care reform, like a new electronic records system.

At a "state of the health system" address in September, UMHS CEO Ora Hirsch Pescovitz said various changes under health care reform will cost the health system $100 million over seven years. She also said the health system is committed to competitive wages and benefits packages for its nurses.

Juliana Keeping covers general assignment and health and the environment for Reach her at or 734-623-2528. Follow Juliana Keeping on Twitter



Sat, Oct 15, 2011 : 3:08 a.m.

It's horrific for government workers to strike and influence elections that result in creating an undue influence on the elected officials who can determine the outcome of negotiations. Jeff Irwin and Rabhi have no business as elected officials representing ALL the taxpayers getting involved in this "special interest" employment situation. They are in conflict with performing for the "public good" as they are acting on behalf of the "public employees who can collectively vote for them" that's just wrong, wrong, wrong, and we need to change such a corrupt system. These elected officials are using tax dollars to travel and promote a "union" agenda. Who represents the rest of us?


Sat, Oct 15, 2011 : 5:48 p.m.

State of Michigan mediation is involved...It's good the representatives are aware of the situation. there has been no strike..what do you mean by "influencing elections"?


Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 9:07 p.m.

I had an awakening today and it made me realize soemthing. Sad to say but I will admit when I am wrong and I was wrong. I need any hurse who reads this to realize one thing..... WHAT WILL YOU BE GIVING UP TO STAY AT 15%? Are you willing to let the U have free reign over your retirment? Are you willing to lose the PTO you collect while on leave? Are you willing to lose OT? I kow these things are imortant to alot of people. But after looking at other union contracts at the U, why do they skilled trades and AFSCME (just two contracts Ilooked at) still have seasonal/yule days? And personal days? I know from speaking to some of my colleagues that once upon a time nurses had these to. What was given in return when these were given up? The point I am trying to make is that are you willing to have the U say OK you can stay at 15%, but we are only going to 1:1 match your retirement. And then have them come back and say well now we are not going to match at all. And if you give them free reign over the retirement plan that is what will happen. That would save them so much money. And to be honest I kow I can not do anything with that money right now, but when I retire in 30 years I am going to need it, I know that much to be true. I just ask of you to think, think really hard about what you are willing to give up FOREVER (because once you give it up you will NEVER get it back). I know it seems like alot now but in the long run the other things on the table will be of a great necessity. I know that they put a little under $4oo.oo into my retirement each month, that is ALOT to lose. I just think that we should dig our heels in and fight for the rest of the things on the table and forgo this insurance issue.


Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 5:03 a.m.

I don't hear St. Joe's nurses complaining.

Sassy Lassie

Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 9:06 p.m.

Snapahot, If you don't hear St. Joe's nurses complaining, it is because you are not listening.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 11:37 p.m.

I had a nurse tell me that they need to stand up for everyone at the hospital, because if they can take benefits from the nurses, they will take them away from everyone else. I feel like if the U doesnt take from the nurses (like they did from everyone else, not to long ago) they will take from us again.


Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 2:32 a.m.

A strong conjecture : the fact finding mediation won't be working with this...."the U ..take from the nurses.. so another [speculated] group will then...not be taken from again..."


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 5:17 p.m.

Gasp! Likening threatening to strike over having to pay more for health care (like everyone else at UM and across the nation already is) with soldiers who died in WWII. What melodrama. You should be ashamed.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 9:49 p.m.

Agree, I was leaning toward their side until reading so many of the obnoxious comments when these stories come out that I do no longer support their effort. I'm sure I am not the only one.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 7:31 p.m.

no I'm not ashamed for talking about care is about life and and death in case you thought it was something else we had on our minds.Nurses are cost savers to health care and the insurance industry and hospitals are turning into profit organizations...Nurses represent access and fair and good treatment for all as opposed to cost cutting and proft making. Yes it's brutal-men did die in'd think Americans wouldn't have to get sick and die because companies wants profits and healthcare can only be provided to people with a lot of money.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 6:23 p.m.

yeah, that seemed a bit much. Thanks for posting above, I'm not sure if folks realize that the rest of UM employees had to settle for 2% and much higher premiums this year (and in coming years)


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 4:06 p.m.

I find it interesting that the same few people have made long angry negative comments on every article posted on this subject!!!! Hummmmm, could you hate mongers really be U of M administration?!? If not...mind your own business, please.

Marilyn Wilkie

Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 2:02 a.m.

Your post won't gain any supporters by telling folks to mind their own business. Are you marching to make everyone mind your business?


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 10:03 p.m.

I'm with you, Rob! Until this story broke, I just assumed that all hospital emplyees had the same benefits, and that we all 'shared' the fiscal responsibility of taking a 2% raise. I'm just not feelin' it.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 9:46 p.m.

sorry, i see the same angry nurses commenting on every story too, it cuts both ways.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 8:07 p.m.

Make sure you cut & copy that comment Rob. I'm sure we'll see it again.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 7:04 p.m.

Yeah, anyone who disagrees with your losing position should just disappear from view and let you prance about in your red scrubs in your ongoing delusional world. No, I don't care to see nurses take advantage of me, and the rest of my fellow UM peers as they try to make themselves elite snobs by virtue of their union status and job title. Continue on though. LOL, you just keep making yourselves look more foolish and create more ill will towards your cause.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 3:35 p.m.

The nurses at UM are being asked to accept what all other UM employees have already accepted (for the good of the organization and long term sustainability), many of whom make much less than the nursing group. Some information for readers to help decide if you think the nursing demands are reasonable: Check out their salaries at the following link: <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;Year=0&amp;Campus=0</a> . Nurses also get a 10% retirement match and overtime, plus generous vacation and other benefits. UM has been reasonable in its offer to the nurses - average 5% salary increases over the next three years (who else is getting that today? Other UM employees got 2% on average this year), phasing in the health care cost premium shift over time (much longer than other employees for whom this has already been levied), plus UM has offered cash subsidies to the nurses to help with the transition. Can't get much more reasonable than that. This isn't about quality patient care or even retaining nurses. It's about a group of already well paid employees, whippped up by unions and a national sentiment that is unfavorable to their cause (the nurses ranting about Wall Street?? Really. Come on.), wanting to stick it to their employer and their co-workers (and ultimately to the patients they profess to serve). It's all about GREED. The nursing picket and their ridiculous chanting was embarassing to watch, especially coming from a group that touts their professionalism.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 4:09 p.m.

I'm sure the Nurses would rather not be on the sidewalk...I'm sure a group of people would have preferred to stay with their loved ones, not risking their lives by crossing in ships to an unknown land in the 1600's, I'm sure men in the 1940's would have preferred not to have to march to fight an enemy and die, I'm sure people on the diag in the late 60's would have preferred to have their noses in the books, I'm sure thousands would prefer not to have to hang out on Wall St to get a point across, I'm sure people in Wi had other things to do than making statements on their Capital steps.Too bad you were embarrassed-the focus isn't on your cringing emotion... sorry.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 4:07 p.m.

&quot;Rational&quot; you sound pretty irrational.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 3:21 p.m.

Nurses make the difference for hospitalized patients. There is not an oversupply of experienced nurses in the US. If you want the best, treat them that way. Don't force pay cuts and holiday scheduling concessions because you think nurses are expendable and immediately replaceable. Expertise is not easily replaceable. I'm a nurse. I don't work at UMHS anymore, but when I did, I had excellent colleagues, women and men who were well-educated, skilled, experienced, and caring. They are the people I want caring for me and my family. I've seen health care in many facilities, and UMHS has already one of the weakest contracts for nursing I've worked under. Weakening it further in the name of &quot;concessions&quot; will only drive more nurses away, and overwork the ones who are left. Nurses are hard -- and expensive -- to replace.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 3:13 p.m.

With protesters carrying signs with slogans like "Heal America, Tax Wall Street," ... The irony here is that these folks are employed by an institution that pays neither property nor income taxes. The UofM pays less tax than Wall Street. Pot, meet Kettle. Perhaps &quot;fairness&quot; would dictate that the UofM pay &quot;its fair share.&quot;


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 2:31 p.m.

"Patients are given the best care here," Taylor said. "They (the nurses) should be paid for it. They're dedicated in what they do." I agree. Nurses should be paid for what they do. Who wants to work for free.


Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 4:34 p.m.

Her comment said they should be paid. I assumed they were doing it for free. She needs to speak more clearly.

Marilyn Wilkie

Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 2:04 a.m.

A $53,000 starting salary plus benefits is not &quot;working for free&quot;.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 12:29 p.m.

the bottom line is that the Niurses will stick together, and that's all that matters. The ignorant and snarky comments are pure entertainment folks-how many of these pop up here from time to time-10 or 15-okay -you've had your rant. Meanwhile, there are thousands of people that the University of Hosp is there to assist-patients-and the University knows the Nurses are integral to keeping the high level of functioning-For those who rant-do you think the Univ has some option like hiring you or people like you to fill the shoes of Nurses who could leave en masse-really now?? The Nurses are a fine group-their solidarity is a wondrous thing.

Somewhat Concerned

Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 11:25 a.m.

They will not be ignored if they carry on as they did yesterday at Liberty Square: blocking passage so that people had to walk in the gutter, filling the air with amplified sounds of someone rambling about Mary Sue Coleman, and chanting against Wall Street (that somehow is part of their grievances with the University of Michigan). I don't know whether they should be paid more or much about how hard they work, but I do know that instead of talking about why their requests - make that &quot;demands&quot; - are justified, they personally attack Coleman, and they are on the attack &quot;Wall Street&quot; bandwagon. Whether or not their claims that actually are related to their contract are justified, they have shown themselves to be a lot less professional than I had thought nurses to be, and I had more respect for nurses the day before yesterday than I have for them today.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 1:08 p.m.

I completely agree, the threats of substandard care being thrown out on whenever these articles come out has made me feel the same way.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 11:01 a.m.

Quote, &quot;The Michigan Difference has turned into 'The Michigan Different'. A group of workers that want different pay and conditions from the rest of the Health System.&quot; Everyone already has a different pay. Transporters, environmental services, physicians, nurses, nurse aides, paramedics - everyone has their own pay grade already. So, nurses are simply asking to move healthcare cost into this fold; not an extereme jump since it is already theirs and they are losing it. Quote, &quot;You don't want to pay the same contribution to your own healthcare as the rest of the health system / entire University? What gives?&quot; This would be an acceptable arguement if it were a socialist or communist economy. It is not. It is capitalism. Just because the rest of the system took a healthcare cost adjustment does not require nurses to do so for some greater good pie in the sky. Quote, &quot;You want more money for overtime? Please, try to be a little more professional and give a little for your patients. It is a privilege to look after those in need.&quot; Partlly true; it is a privilege to look after those in need. It is not, however, a privilege to have your pocket picked by the employer who makes millions from helping those in need, and then cries foul because they cannot balance their own budget after overspending on a fleet of new helicopters, a new computer system, and several new buildings. And overtime will pay more if an institution cannot balance a workforce to acceptable staffing ratios - otherwise increasing overtime is the 'stop gap' filler rather than hire new staff. Who really wants a tired nurse providing care? And finally, yes, many experienced, high-quality nurses are already leaving U of M and going elswhere rather than accept what the U is selling.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 10:59 a.m.

I guess I don't get this OT thing they are arguing about. A friend of mine said that the nurses are often only scheduled twice a week but at longer shifts. That in general, a nurse, if they just worked their regular time would work maybe 24 hours a week (2 12 hour shifts). If this is correct, why are they asking for overtime? Are they arguing that they should get overtime because they worked longer then their regular shift? I always thought 40 hours meant OT kicked in? I guess we need to get the actual numbers out their to see the facts. If this is the case, the the U needs to schedule this folks 5 days a week at 8 hour shifts, then if they take on extra shifts, I am okay with OT if it puts them over 40 hours a week. Please help me and others understand how this OT thing works. Because if my friend is correct, you guys have a sweet deal in place.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 3:13 p.m.

Mandatory overtime is an issue. Whether nurses are allowed to cover for each other if it means they pull overtime is an issue. Choosing to stay over is one thing. Being mandated to stay 16 hours when all the research on workplace safety says that is less safe is an entirely different thing. 8 hour shifts are not ideal from a patient's point of view; the riskiest times in a patient day are during change of shift, either of nursing or of providers, because things can be missed, misinterpreted, late, etc.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 11:12 a.m.

There are overtime, over appointment time and several other variences. Many nurses will work three twelve hour shifts. Twelve hour shifts are traditional as one patient then has only care transferred once during a 24 hour period. If one works their three twelve hour shifts and then works over three hours, it is over appointment at 39 hours, but not over time (using 40 hours as your limit) and they recieve compensation accordingly. I don't do payroll, so any corrrections are welcome.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 10:54 a.m.

&quot;At issue in the ongoing contract dispute are changes to paid time off, overtime and health insurance premiums&quot; So could do the research to tell us exactly WHAT the issues are? I have read MULTIPLE articles on this topic and still don't feel like I understand exactly what is being asked by both sides. WHAT are the changes to paid time off? WHAT are the overtime issues? WHAT are the health insurance premiums? How do the concessions being asked by UM compare to existing benefits? How do nurses compare to other UMHS employees in terms of benefits? Reporters are supposed to research and present the facts so that readers can develop informed opinions but somehow seems unable to get those basic facts for us. An article without facts leads to comments with uninformed but extreme opinions on both sides.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 4:13 p.m.

If you don't truly understand. Don't make hateful uneducated comments.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 7:55 a.m.

As a U of M nurse, I would not mind paying the increased health insurance benefits IF my raise was going to offset that cost. Most of us just want to break even. I would have been ok with the concessions being asked if those in top management took concessions as well. But when you have those who are making six figures get 10-13% increases and then tell me that I have to make concessions! I DO NOT THINK SO! Yes I did choose this profession and I give 100% to that profession, perhaps in a perfect world money would not matter but this world is far far from perfect! I, like the majority of the nurses at the U are DEDICATED GIVING TO THEIR PATIENTS! Lets face it, it is a known fact that you get what you pay for, so when you are laying in the bed sick and your well being depends on the healthcare you receive, do not be upset when you get substandard care! Honestly, for nurses to come to work to be cursed at, kicked, hit, urinated on, crapped on and physically threatened by the ones they take care of it is a miracle that we havent committed ourselves! So please when you make your assinine comments about nurses being selfish and only thinking of themselves please think again!!


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 11:32 p.m.

You will give substandard care if you dont get your way.. Doesnt seem right.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 9:55 p.m.

You may Redwearer, but the venom coming from people like kharmynni and mtlaurel, I would not trust the care I received at UM from NURSES at this time. This poster sounds as if they are looking forward to giving the least amount of care just to &quot;stick it to the man&quot;.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 8 p.m.

Visha, This won't be one floor, it will be all floors. We already are stretched to the limit as is. But as a nurse we will do our best. We will still take care of you &amp; those like you who are ungrateful.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 3:16 p.m.

It's not a threat. It's a fact: when staffing suffers, patient care is not optimal. It's not because nurses choose to give substandard care, it's because administration sets up the environment to support substandard care. If you want your nurse to be well-educated, experienced, expert in her specialty, and well-rested, then create an environment where those things happen. Expert nurses can leave. Any nurse can be tired. If you're worried about substandard care, then support the nurses.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 1:01 p.m.

Please let us know your name/floor so if I or my family are ever at UM I can make sure to not have you---your threat of substandard care sickens me.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 6:15 a.m.

Some of these nurses are just irrational. They think they should be the only UM employees not paying the same rates for medical health care premiums because of factors that are not even related, e.g.: the new hospital building, the wage rates of people in other roles, the profitability or loss in the health system, etc. The fact is, ALL university employees will be paying or moving to the same benefit premium structure based on UM paying a percentage and employees paying a percentage. Most businesses have their plans set this way and even the State model is now set this way. While nurses may have been spoiled in the past, they need to step up and pay their fair share like every other UM employee and most other Americans who see their health care premiums continue to rise.  They want to earn paid time off, PTO, while on short-term disability and not working. They want a better retirement program than every other UM employee. They want to pay less for medical benefits than every other UM employee, despite having the same options as all other employees. Fair? No. Creating a sense of entitlement. Yes! They will keep looking for and continue claiming unfair labor claims as long as they can, but they only continue to look ridiculous in their silly red scrubs. Those that claim they are the ONLY &quot;Michigan Difference&quot; or THEY drive an hour to work, or they comfort the ill so they must therefore deserve special treatment are ridiculous. It's their job -- their chosen profession. Every individual who works has to drive to their job, park, carry out it's assigned duties, and pay for their health care. These nurses show themselves to be out of touch with current economic conditions and really with reality if they think they are entitled to anything. They earn a wage based on economic value and pay benefit premiums based on economic cost factors.


Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 12:40 p.m.

they've been at the bargaining table and now will gladly work with fact finding mediation...there probably is something new to come forth-like facts...and a fair approach to both sides of the issue.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 10:59 p.m.

Sure, I cut and paste. Since the nurses whining has continued ad nauseum without change, there's really nothing new to add, right? But, keep trying, you just keep loosing more legitimacy with each passing day and post as your outrageous demands come to light and more become aware of what you're trying to do to the rest of us at the U.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 7:56 p.m.

Ron, This is a prime example of trolling. You just cut, copied and pasted this from a past article you trolled on. We pay attention Rob. We all have seen your antiunion, tea bagger notions on here. We aren't going to change our mind because you spout out a bunch of skewed statistics or inappropriate retoric no matter how many times you cut, copy, &amp; paste your agenda. If you don't like hearing about us, stop reading articles. We aren't going to give up our RIGHTS, because you think we're wrong. WE ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE!!!!


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 4:35 a.m.

Yo do not make 60,000 dollars for at least 10 plus years of experience so before commenting get it right!! I do not make that and I have 10 years! If U of M wnats to cut pay and pay nurses less then I will give that amount of care!! Other nurses are getting paid more and being asked of less how does thsi make sense??? You wanna be a top 10 hospital act like it! you cant do it with out us!

Marilyn Wilkie

Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 2:09 a.m.

The salaries are public information and registered nurses seem to start at $53,000. So, if you aren't making $60,000 after 10 years then maybe something is wrong.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 3:57 a.m.

U of M stand your ground! Nurses, remember that the taxpayer is your employer. U of M is a government entity, any profit they make does not belong to you, it belongs to the community you serve. That's right nurses, you serve the citizenry of the State of Michigan in a tax funded government institution. I hear there's a demand for nurses in Afganistan and Iraq should this employment gig not work out for you.


Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 4:54 a.m.

U of M receives tax dollars and is a state institution, you're splitting hairs. See where you are if the state cuts off all tax dollars to the U of M.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 4:31 p.m.

Allow me to drop a little knowledge for you, snapshot. General Funds (hereinafter &quot;Taxpayer Dollars&quot;) are not used to pay RN salaries. Zero. Zip. Nada. Zlinch. $0.00. Nothing. No dinero. Source: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 9:15 a.m.

Dear Snapshot, We as nurses are not state employees. We are public employees. While we do serve the public, your taxes, MY taxes, do not pay our wage. If you believe that taxes pay a nurses wage at U of M, I am sorry. You are either sorely misinformed, or have not done your research. In any event, I encourage you to read, really read, educate yourself. Don't just spout out your anti-union, anti-nurse retoric. That has been done at nausiem. We as public employees have the right to assemble &amp; be heard. You basic bob, &amp; whoever else decides to attack us in this forum will not change that with your willy nilly retort. We also have lodged unfair labor grievances, that gives us the right to strike. I also bet your one of those people who blame teachers for the problems of our state &amp; financial state. Why do you have a grudge against public employees? Have we oppressed you?


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 3:20 a.m.

Why is it ok for auto workers, phone company employees and athletes to strike but the mere thought of us doing it is horrific?


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 4:04 a.m.

Please, don't think that we LOVE the idea of leaving the patients in the hospital if we were to go on strike. We're doing this for ourselves AND the patients in the long run. Teachers also go on strike - they leave students to strike if need be in order to provide them a quality education and receive a fair contract. You're also insulting auto workers by stating because they 'only' work with parts instead of patients it's ok for them to strike because they're not as 'important'. Unions should be allowed to strike if all other methods have been exhausted whether they work with parts or people. And those &quot;scabs&quot; you're talking about are experienced nurses who take on travel assignments for a living. They are used to being trained in order to fill in spots (whether for striking or for other unexpected openings). That's what they're for. Nursing strikes have been happening around the country both past and presently, there are ways for hospitals to temporarily provide staff and decrease the amount of beds open in those cases.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 3:49 a.m.

Melons, please. UM nurses are fairly compensated. Most make $60,000 plus good benefits. Stop acting like you are so put upon. And what does the rich have to do with this? The administration? You mean the handfuls who make $400,000 plus. There are 4,000 nurses. It is not a fair or logical comparison. And you are kidding yourself if UM can bring 4,000 traveling nurses. I would imagine the union itself would throw a fit if UM brought in what amounts to in scabs. Closing beds? You really would deny care just so you don't have to pay more in health insurance? Who is greedy now?


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 3:30 a.m.

Do you realize we have to give ten days notice before we can walk. That gives them plenty of time to bing in travelers and close the beds. They can actually plan. COmpletely ridiculous. Even more ridiculous is that this is dragging on. Auto workers strike and get everything and more and all they do is work with auto parts. I knew someone who worked for AMeritech and the went on strike for 2 days and got a 14% pay increase..... how is working with phone lines mre inportant than humans? Yet we are always getting shafted Not just nurses all employees there. The rich get richer....


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 3:23 a.m.

because you work with patients who need you, not auto parts.. you knew this job required a &quot;skilled professional&quot; when you took the job.. that means something. Don't demean it. Go Blue.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 3:19 a.m.

If you don't think the nurses earn every cent and every benefit they are asking for, you haven't been a hospital patient or had a loved one who was recently. The nurses at U Hosp never stop - they are on their feet and running from the moment they arrive until after their shifts end. The admiration and gratitude our family feels for these professionals is beyond words. I bet they work a lot harder than most of you who would limit their pay and benefits, and they do it cheerfully. Rather than wishing less for them, respect the incredible work ethic they have and their willingness to stand up for what they deserve. If working people don't stand up for themselves, who do you think will? Certainly not most employers!


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 2:33 p.m.

You need to go to St. Joe's Ann Arbor. They are the best.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 1:43 p.m.

I was recently a patient there and my care was terrible. I received meds I didn't need and had an 8 hour delay on a med I did need. Over the course of 3 days I think I slept for about 4 hours. I hardly ever pressed my light for a nurse, but when she did eventually come in, she brought a bad attitude with her. I must have overheard the expression &quot;It's a hospital not a hotel&quot; several times. I could not wait to get out of there. That was my first experience at U of M and it will be my last. It is open enrollment and I am switching my insurance.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 3:16 a.m.

Please shut up. Work or quit! Those are the choices in the real world.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 9:19 a.m.

Yes Braggslaw, if this upsets you to the point where you tell people you have no right to &quot;shut up,&quot; &quot;work or quit'&quot; why read this? You obviously are just trolling.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 3:20 a.m.

why do you read it if it bothers you so much?


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 3:18 a.m.

No not really I have a choice to stay and ride it out. We can talk about this all we want, we are unionized. We have the right to negotiate =) Are you scared?


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 3:16 a.m.

The unions are organizing and pushing this communistic viewpoint -- capitalism works every time while communism has always failed. Look out for the real radicals when the govmt handouts are curtailed/cutoff.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 3:39 p.m.

I'm a die hard capitalist and pro-union. but this is not about politics- this is about fair wages and pursuing the American Dream for the Middle Class.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 3:06 a.m.

The Michigan Difference has turned into &quot;The Michigan Different&quot;. A group of workers that want different pay and conditions from the rest of the Health System. You don't want to pay the same contribution to your own healthcare as the rest of the health system / entire University? What gives? You want more money for overtime? Please, try to be a little more professional and give a little for your patients. It is a privilege to look after those in need. Stop using your patients as a bargaining chip. &quot;Taking a stand for PATIENTS&quot;... &quot;Taking a stand for YOURSELVES&quot;... think about it.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 3:41 a.m.

Em, you technically aren't allowed to refuse at all! Unless you've hit your OT max for the period.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 3:39 a.m.

Just an FYI Bob, there are several differences in benefits across the different disciplines. I'd gladly take some of the things others have. And don't knock the nurses for fighting, it isn't our fault others gave up the fight!


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 3:37 a.m.

When I have to be mandated to work over TWICE in less than a week, then how is that fair to me or my patients? I agree that it is a privilege to take care of patients - that is one of the reasons I went into nursing in the first place. To tell me that I should think it's perfectly fine to be mandated so many times in the recent months and not expect some compensation is an outrage. We all want to provide the best care to patients. Yes, sometimes shifts are short so we have to be mandated once in a while, it would happen once every few months, but it is becoming more and more frequent for mandation to happen. We are only allowed to officially refuse one time a year (I believe). If a nurse is mandated to work over, they will often work a 16 hour shift, go home for less than 8 hours, and then come back after that 8 hours to take care of patients again. How is that helping patient safety? Do you want your family member being taken care of a physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted nurse who has been at their job for 16 hours straight and quite possibly has worked 28 hours out of the last 36? It happens, and it has been happening more frequently in the hospital. I can complain all I want about how this is unfair to me, but it is incredibly unfair to the patients when this happens. To tell us to quiet down, take this as &quot;ok&quot;, and don't complain is insulting. When I'm exhausted and frustrated after working so many extra/unexpected hours, I am still expected to function at the top of my game. If a patient takes a downward turn and I have to call rapid response on them, I am expected to provide the best care whether I have been at the hospital for 1 hour or 15. So I guess I should just "be a little more professional" and shut up about all of this. I mean, it's not wrong or anything.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 3:22 a.m.

I am not a salaried employee. I am paid hourly and if I stay longer then I should get something for it


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 3:17 a.m.

Blah blah blah, A job is a job, not a time period. Quit or work.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 3:12 a.m.

Getting time and a half for staying and working longer than I am scheduled does not make me greedy. They want to change that to save themselves a couple bucks. Never mind what we may be missing at home with our families to take care of our patients. Do you know anything about our jobs? Do you shadow me at my job? You have NO idea how I care for my patients or what I do. Maybe you would like to walk a day in our shoes. Yes we went into this, noone picked this job out of a hat. I am well aware, but I am also a professional and need a little respect. Just b/c this crappy package was shoved down everyone elses throat does not make it right. Maybe they should have stoodup and said NO


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 2:16 a.m.

Doing these things is not really going to help.... they are still making all that money. A work stoppage will show them we are not playing around. They still made money since the nurses that marched had already worked their shift or were off. Noone missed work for this.... why are we always cw towwing down?


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 3:16 p.m.

Doing things is a first step in a show of unity. The Nurses have the inside information and know the issues-these actions coalesce their efforts and make them now visible. Ridiculous comments don't have anything to do with anything that will transpire...the efforts should be regarded as strength and support by the nurses as forming their collective voice.


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 3:33 a.m.

I think it is a waste of time, do you think seeing us in the streets in red will bring them to their knees? Well it might..... with laughter


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 3 a.m.

perhaps but genious hav you heard there is a nursing shortage? And also if they bring in travelers that cost them triple what they pay us...... we are short staffed on a lot of units right now..... so I guess your theory is incorrect


Thu, Oct 13, 2011 : 2:45 a.m.

Great, stop working, unfortunately.. might not miss you. Someone else might want your job / promotion. Let the market decide.