Nurses with U of M health system march for fair contracts

- They say the reasons they wear red: Patients, safety, integrity, solidarity.

Nurses at the "U of M Health System" showed up in force in Ann Arbor seeking what they believe is a fair contract.

"We're showing the university our solidarity that we're not going to accept an unfair contract," John Armelagos said.

Leaders say they want enough nurses on each shift, on each floor, and they want it written into their next deal.

"It's not just about the money sir, It’s about good patient care," he said.

The president of the Michigan Nurses Association among the group that marched, rallied and advocated. 

"I've spent more time in a hospital room in the last 3 years with the man that I love John Dingle and I know that the nurses, they saved his life and I will never forget that,” Debbie Dingell said.

Political leaders, members of the University of Michigan Professional Nurses Council and supporters thinking about their battle and the one they see elsewhere.

"It’s a fight we’re all having, a fight we're all struggling for," Beth Sherfield said.

"We need adequate numbers of nurses to make sure that patients get the care that they need."

Union rep says there are about six thousand nurses in the U of M health system and their collective bargaining agreement expired on June 30th, so for them the time is now. 

"Most people come into nursing because we care about patients, we want to give back, we care for people's family members when they can't care for them."

A spokeswoman for Michigan Medicine says the university has negotiated in good faith and offered the nurses a “compensation package that included competitive across the board increases of at least 3%,” adding that the university has committed to keeping staff levels where they say are best in the state. 

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