Vote “Yes” to strike for safe nurse-to-patient ratios! Mobilize hospital staff, university community against Michigan Medicine strikebreaking!

Are you a nurse or health care worker at Michigan Medicine? Contact the WSWS Health Care Workers Newsletter using the form at the end of this article. What are the main issues you face at your workplace? What do you think needs to be done? All submissions will be kept anonymous.

Dear Michigan Medicine brothers and sisters,

We are Michigan Medicine workers who have formed the Michigan Medicine Rank and File Committee (MMRFC) to unite all workers behind the nurses and secure victory in their contract fight for safe working conditions, decent wages and an end to mandatory overtime.

This is the fight of all workers at the health system. We are in a powerful position to win and reverse years of concessions contracts, layoffs and speedup.

We urge nurses to vote “Yes” for strike action at the meetings that are being held this week. There is widespread support for a walkout to end the intolerable working conditions at Michigan Medicine.

Throughout the contract negotiations, nurses have spoken out about the impact on their lives of the staffing shortage. However, it is critical that we understand what we are up against.

The fact that management is recruiting “replacement nurses” proves that it will stop at nothing to maintain intolerable working conditions. Its goal is to force through a new nurses’ contract that will intensify the staffing crisis.

We have to take the conduct of this struggle into our own hands. The MNA-UMPNC (Michigan Nurses Association-University of Michigan Professional Nurse Council) leadership wasted precious time by refusing to call a strike when the contract expired on July 1. It gave Michigan Medicine time to hire scabs and failed to inform us about the strikebreaking operation for days on end.

The union leadership has kept nurses in the dark about what is going on in the negotiations. It has isolated nurses from the rest of the hospital staff and instead told us to appeal to the wealthy members of the university Board of Regents, who represent the corporate interests behind the anti-worker drive.

Hundreds of Michigan Medicine nurses and their supporters participated in an informational picket of the hospital facilities in Ann Arbor, Michigan on Saturday, July 16, 2022 to demand an end to the staffing shortage and a new contract which expired on June 30.

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