Last week, 1300 health care professionals at the University of Michigan officially certified the United Michigan Medicine Allied Professionals (UMMAP), American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Local 6739, as their union — including 600 behavioral health workers and 700 medical assistants. UMMAP now represents nearly 3000 employees across the University of Michigan Health System.
“By joining other healthcare professionals in UMMAP, behavioral health workers and medical assistants are taking a stand to improve working conditions and earn fair wages,” said Penni Toney, president of UMMAP. “We are proud to work for Michigan Medicine. Growing our union is another step towards ensuring a safe, and supportive environment for both health care workers and the patients we care for.”
During the pandemic, health care workers went above and beyond to care for their patients while seeing their real wages decline. Now staffing shortages are impacting all areas of the healthcare system, and as a result many health care workers are forced to work long hours and extra days.
“When workers come together to make their voices heard they can make meaningful change,” said Terrence Martin, president of AFT Michigan. “With these new additions to UMMAP, we are building power to win fair raises for health care workers, improve working conditions, and create safer ratios that will benefit caregivers and patients alike.”