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University of Michigan Nurses Go on Strike Over Labor Rights Violation

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More than 4,000 nurses at the University of Michigan medical school have decided to go on a three-day strike for “continuous violations” of their workplace rights.

Michigan Nurses Association affiliate, University of Michigan Professional Nurses Council (UMPNC), voted during the September 10-16 meeting of its members to authorize work stoppage for three days.

The council has been protesting against the university’s failure to settle the terms and conditions of employment and making work shift changes without notifying the union. The nurses have also alleged the University of discriminating against its fellows who are engaged in a legally protected speech demanding their rights.

“Our goal is not a work stoppage,” chair of UMPNC Katie Oppenheim said. “Our goal is a fair agreement which respects nurses and guarantees safe staffing.  The University can remedy this situation immediately, by stopping their unfair labor practices and bargaining in good faith.”

Katie Scott, a cardiovascular nurse, accused the university of continuously violating their rights and said, “They’ve created a wall that’s blocking us from negotiating the issues that are important to nurses and our patients. We’re saying, break down that wall so we can bargain in good faith.”

The union members have threatened another work stoppage, if the university fails to comply with their demands. Earlier, the council members filed unfair labor practice charges with the Michigan Employment Relations Commission against the university for violating the labor law.

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