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MNA: Supermajority of UPHS-Marquette ancillary staff file nationally to form a union

Should the unionization be successful, the MNA says it would be one of the largest groups of healthcare workers to win a union through the NLRB since the start of the pandemic.
FILE. Sign outside of the UPHS-Marquette hospital.
FILE. Sign outside of the UPHS-Marquette hospital.(WLUC)
Published: May. 3, 2021 at 1:39 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - UPDATE: The Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) has said some Upper Michigan workers have filed nationally to form a union.

The MNA says a supermajority of ancillary staff at UP Health System Marquette (UPHS) filed paperwork with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on April 26 to have an election to form a union with the Michigan Nurses Association.

Should the unionization be successful, the MNA says it would be one of the largest groups of healthcare workers to win a union through the NLRB since the start of the pandemic.

“We have seen time and again that the only way for our concerns to be heard is for us to unite together as a union,” said Kerri Beckman, a medical technologist at UPHS Marquette. “By coming together, we will be able to work towards retaining quality employees and therefore continue to provide amazing patient care while supporting one another.”

Ancillary staff at Marquette would be joining the over 300 nurses at UPHS Marquette who are currently MNA members. “We are forming a union not only because we want to be able to support each other, but also because we want to support our community,” said Peggy Lindeman, a medical technologist at UPHS Marquette. “We are proud to work in Marquette and want to always be able to provide the highest standard of care.”

In a statement to TV6, Janell Larson, Director of Marketing & Communications for UP Health System said, “The Hospital has received an NLRB petition for an election to determine whether our technical employees wish to be represented by a union. We support and respect our employees’ right to make an informed decision on this question.”

The MNA says this is the third group of healthcare workers in the Upper Peninsula who have sought to form a union with the Michigan Nurses Association since the start of the pandemic. Nurses at Aspirus Keweenaw hospital and healthcare professionals at the Chippewa County Health Department both successfully voted in recent months to form a union with MNA.

“The techs throughout the various represented departments in this hospital are so talented and dedicated to the community we serve,” said Katlyn Lafrinere, a radiologic technologist at UPHS Marquette. “I am excited to stand with my colleagues as we organize to win our union. We provide exemplary care and are proud of the work we do. A union will allow our voices to be amplified so we can continue to provide excellent care to our patients.”

“Nurses and healthcare professionals at UPHS Marquette will have a stronger voice when we are united together as a union,” said Stephanie DePetro, Vice President of the Michigan Nurses Association and president of the local bargaining unit of MNA nurses at UPHS Marquette. “The pandemic has made it crystal clear that every frontline worker needs a collective voice. We look forward to welcoming the ancillary staff at Marquette into our union family once they win their election and vote union yes.”

The MNA says an election has not yet been scheduled by the National Labor Relations Board.

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