Marquette nurses ratify four-year contract with Duke LifePoint

UPDATE: Friday, June 1st 9:30 a.m.

UP Health Systems has released a statement Friday morning regarding the recent ratification of a contract between the nurses and Duke Lifepoint.

The statement reads “UPHS – Marquette is pleased to have reached a mutually acceptable agreement with the Michigan Nurses Association, which was ratified by its membership last night. This positive outcome provides great momentum for our team as we prepare to move into our new facility and continue enhancing the high quality care and service we provide our patients. We thank the community for its patience as we worked through this important process, and are eager to move forward making our community healthier together.”

MARQUETTE — A strong majority of registered nurses at UP Health System in Marquette, represented by the Michigan Nurses Association, voted to accept a new collective bargaining agreement with Duke LifePoint Thursday.

The decision comes after a full day of ratification meetings, held at Northern Michigan University.

According to a press release, the new contract contains many improvements for nurses and patients, including language to ensure that nurses have a stronger voice in staffing decisions and an attractive economic package.

“On behalf of Marquette nurses, I want to thank all of the community members who supported us throughout bargaining. The agreement that we reached is a win for patients across the UP,” said Scott Balko, Operating Room RN and President of the UPHS Marquette Staff Council/MNA. “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 frontlines of patient care will be able to care for themselves and their families without worry. 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. Nurses will continue to be advocates to ensure the highest quality care for our patients, and we see the contract as a step in the right direction.”

The contract is a four-year agreement that takes effect on June 1st, 2018.

The two parties have been in contract negotiations since April 18th, 2017. A two-month contract extension expired on July 28th of that year, and the UPHS – Marquette nurses have been working without a contract since.