Munson Medical Center Nurses Vote On Forming Union in Traverse City

“I think everyone should have a voice and make the best decision for themselves.”

More than a thousand nurses in Traverse City are weighing the pros and the cons, as they vote whether or not to form a union.

This discussion has been swirling for months.

And for the first time ever, nurses at Munson Medical Center now have enough signatures to hold a vote.

We talked to several nurses for and against the change.

Some say they need a union to make their voices heard, while others say they don’t need representation.

“The care I provide is patient centered care. If the unionization goes through it will become nurse focused care,” Julia Thrilby, RN Munson Medical Center said.

More than a thousand nurses from Munson Medical Center are weighing their options about forming a union, and what it could mean for patients.

“I will have to go through the union to make these changes which is going to be a delay in care because I’m going to have to wait for union representation before I can help my patients which I’m currently doing,” Thrilby said.

Other nurses think going with a union would help with things like respect, patient safety and solve staffing issues.

Detailed in a complaint filed against the hospital in May by the Michigan Nurse’s Association.

“They changed our patient to nurse ratio to where it often was not a safe ratio, we didn’t have enough people to handle safety concerns if something were to go wrong. I was leaving after 14 hours often and left tired and frustrated,” Lisa Kitchens, RN Munson Medical Center said. 

“If we are a collective voice together we can accomplish good things that’s great for patients and best for the hospital and community," Mikki Popp RN Munson Medical Center said.

Munson Medical Center encourages everyone to vote, regardless of their opinions. Still they have concerns over the possible impact.

“Introducing a third party collective bargaining, these are uncertain processes, we have a long history of collaboration and that’s something we really want to preserve,” Al Pilong, president, Munson Medical Center said.

Polls close at 9 Thursday night.

We will continue to bring you the latest both on air and online, as this decision is made.

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