UPHS-Marquette techs vote to unionize

The techs at UP Health System-Marquette voted to join the union with 92% voting yes in a 159-13 count vote.
Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 2:56 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - A group of medical professionals in Upper Michigan voted on Monday to form a union with the Michigan Nurses Association (MNA).

Mail-in ballots were sent to 172 tech employees at UP Health System-Marquette on June 4. They voted to join the union, with 92% voting yes. It was a 159-13 count vote, according to a press release from the MNA.

The MNA officially announced that some U.P. techs filed nationally to form a union back in May.

According to the release, the techs are the third facility of healthcare workers to unionize in the U.P. since the start of the pandemic. They were preceded by nurses at Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital and healthcare professionals at the Chippewa County Health Department. Both groups voted to become a part of the union within the past year.

EEG technician Stephanie Wood said they just want to get the same pay as other health care workers across the country.

“We’re in a rural community and we sometimes have a tendency to fall behind the national average,” Wood said. “So, we’re just looking for something to keep up with that.”

“The past year of COVID crisis has really brought us together and shown us how much stronger we are when we are united,” said Kerri Beckman, a medical technologist at UPHS-Marquette. “We all need each other to keep moving forward. With a union, we will be able to retain quality employees to make sure that we can always provide the kind of patient care our community deserves.”

These workers will be joining around 400 registered nurses at UPHS-Marquette who are also members of the MNA.

“We are thrilled to welcome techs at UPHS-Marquette into our union,” said Jamie Brown, RN and president of the MNA. “We know that we are strongest when we are united together.”

UPHS-Marquette issued the following statement regarding the unionization:

Today the UP Health System – Marquette technical employees had an opportunity to vote on the question of union representation, and they have assigned their collective bargaining rights to the Michigan Nurses Association (MNA). We respect that decision and will negotiate in good faith for a mutually acceptable collective bargaining agreement that reflects the realities of today’s challenging healthcare environment.

In the meantime, please rest assured that we will not be distracted from providing excellent care to our patients and community.

Negotiations for a first contract for Marquette techs are expected to begin soon. The contract for nurses expires in less than a year.

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