Michigan hospital nurses vote to unionize

Nurses at UP Health System-Bell in Ishpeming, Mich., have voted to join the Michigan Nurses Association.

The vote covers about 60 nurses at the hospital, according to an Oct. 5 union news release.

"Now that we have formed a union, we will get to have a democratic say in our working conditions. The past few years have been difficult, but winning our union gives me hope," Callie Ruohomaki, RN, said in the release. "We are ready to advocate to make improvements so that we can better recruit and retain nurses at our hospital."

In a statement shared with Becker's, UP Health System-Bell administration said, "We respect that decision and will negotiate in good faith for a mutually acceptable collective bargaining agreement that meets the needs of our staff, our community and our hospital.

"In the meantime, we remain focused on the future of UP Health System-Bell and our mission of Making Communities Healthier."

Nurses at UPHS-Bell join about 600 other nurses and healthcare professionals who are unionized at UPHS-Marquette (Mich.) and UPHS-Portage in Hancock, Mich.

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