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Nurses at UPHS-Marquette ratify new contract

STEPHANIE DEPETRO

MARQUETTE — The Michigan Nurses Association and UP Health System-Marquette on Saturday announced that they have reached agreement on a new contract covering the hospital’s registered nurses, which has now been ratified by the nurses.

Since the outset of contract negotiations earlier this spring, both parties have been focused on reaching a successful conclusion, they said. Conversations at the bargaining table were “consistently respectful, productive and forward-looking.”

The contract terms that form the basis of the agreement are competitive, fair and respectful, and focus on retaining and recruiting nurses needed to serve the community and support the continued delivery of high-quality patient care, they said.

“This contract makes UPHS- Marquette a more rewarding place to work so we can attract and keep nurses who are committed to our community and making the hospital the best it can possibly be,” said Stephanie DePetro, a nurse and president of the MGH RN Staff Council and vice president of the Michigan Nurses Association Board of Directors, in a statement. “This is a huge leap in nurses being recognized for our value, especially after putting in so many long shifts throughout the pandemic. Nurses remain focused on putting our patients and our community first.”

The three-year contract is retroactive to June 1, which is when the previous contract expired. Members voted Thursday and Friday on the contract, which includes:

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— Competitive wage increases over the life of the contract.

— Increased differentials for various shifts, charge nurse duties and specialty certifications.

— An evaluation of RN experience in determining proper placement on the wage scale.

“From day one, our leadership team was committed to updating the contract in a way that assured that we could continue providing high-quality care to the community, retain our outstanding, seasoned nurses and be a leader in recruiting clinical talent to our team,” said Gar Atchison, chief executive officer of UPHS-Marquette, in a statement, “We are pleased to have reached an agreement that meets the needs of our staff, the hospital and our community, and we look forward to continuing the positive momentum and further building our culture of respect, appreciation and collaboration within our team.”

Overall, the new contract includes wages and benefits that are regionally competitive, supporting the parties’ shared goal of retaining and recruiting talented nurses to UPHS-Marquette at a time when there are many open positions nationally, MNA and the hospital said.

The Michigan Nurses Association is the largest union of nurses and healthcare professionals in Michigan. About 300 registered nurses work at UPHS- Marquette; MNA also represents about 180 UPHS-Marquette ancillary staff and technologists in a separate unit.

UP Health System-Marquette and the MNA continue to negotiate initial contract terms for the hospital’s technical employees.

“We are excited about continuing to work toward our first contract so we can be even more effective advocates for each other and our patients,” said Katlyn Lafrinere, a radiologic technologist at UPHS-Marquette and president of the Marquette Ancillary Staff and Technologists, in a statement. “We’re glad to see UPHS-Marquette investing in its employees and we look forward to seeing that with the ancillary staff and techs as well.”

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