Michigan nurses OK labor deal with Duke LifePoint

Nurses at Upper Peninsula Health System-Marquette (Mich.) have approved a labor deal with Brentwood, Tenn.-based Duke LifePoint Healthcare.

The agreement, which covers nurses represented by the Michigan Nurses Association, includes "language to ensure that nurses have a stronger voice in staffing decisions and an attractive economic package," according to a union news release. The nurses union did not elaborate.

Nurses' approval of the agreement comes after about a year of negotiating. The talks were contentious at times, with nurses going on strike in October. They voted in April to authorize another strike, but it never took place.

Now, nurses say they are pleased with the agreement, set to take effect June 1.

"Our new agreement contains significant wage increases and fair benefits which will help attract and retain nurses to serve the region. Quality health insurance means that those on the front lines of patient care will be able to care for themselves and their families without worry," said Scott Balko, operating room RN and president of the UPHS Marquette Staff Council/MNA.

He added: "After a long negotiations process, we are hopeful that Duke LifePoint recognizes this contract as an opportunity to work with their nursing staff on continued improvements."

Duke LifePoint said it also was pleased.

"We believe that both organizations share a deep commitment for serving their communities, and this outcome demonstrates both parties’ desire to work together providing quality healthcare services into the future," reads the organization's statement to Becker's Hospital Review. 

 

 

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