UW Hospitals: Recognize your Nurses’ Union 08.25.2022News Uncategorized August 25th, 2022
UW Hospitals: Recognize your Nurses’ Union
By deciding to work with your nursing staff as a collaborative partner, UW Hospitals and Clinics can reflect the progressive values of its community AND improve patient care.
August 25, 2022
Dear UW Hospital and Clinics Authority,
Madison Teachers Inc., the Union representing teachers and educational professionals in the Madison Metropolitan School District, strongly urges UWHCA to voluntarily engage in the meet and confer process with your Nurses’ Union. Given Attorney General Joh Kaul’s ruling on this issue, there is nothing preventing UWHCA from recognizing its hard-working, compassionate nurses who show up every day, shift after shift, to make sure patients get the care they deserve in a safe environment.
The only difference between our Union and the UW Nurses is the minor exception allowing collective bargaining over one subject, base wages (up to a capped amount). The remainder of the conditions of employment are determined by the Board of Education and MMSD Administration, in consultation with employee representatives. MTI and the MMSD Board and Administration have agreed to a process for management and employees representatives to meet and confer over Handbook policies, seeking consensus before recommending a change to the Board, who maintains final authority. While this process can be challenging, we believe that collaboration and employee voice produce the best outcomes for our students and the staff who serve them.
Like teaching, nursing is a female-dominated profession that has traditionally been underpaid for the amount mental and physical effort, and the extensive knowledge required to perform the job. Both professions have suffered heavily during the COVID-19 pandemic leading to burn out and fewer professionals left to do the necessary work to care for students and patients. Failing to recognize the value of their ideas, concerns and needs is a disservice to your nurses and the patients for whom nurses are often the primary point of contact during difficult and sometimes life-threatening situations.
You have a choice to make. By deciding to work with your nursing staff as a collaborative partner, UW Hospitals and Clinics can reflect the progressive values of its community AND improve patient care. By choosing not to recognize the Union you will continue to lose valuable staff, and the fight will intensify for those who remain. We urge you to make the choice to do right by your nurses, your patients, and your community by recognizing and working with your Nurses Union. We are happy to share our experiences with this process at your convenience.
Jeff Knight, MTI Executive Director
Michael Jones, MTI President
Judy Ferwerda, ESP-MTI President