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Munson Medical Center nurses file to unionize

Munson Medical Center

TRAVERSE CITY (WPBN/WGTU) -- A group of nurses at Munson Medical Center is one step closer to forming a union.

On Thursday, the National Labor Relations Board accepted the nurses petition to be represented by the Michigan Nurses Association.

Now Munson nurses will get the chance to vote in favor or against unionizing.

Mikki Popp and Amity Aebig are two of the registered nurses at Munson behind the push to unionize.

"For several months nurses have been meeting and trying to organize," said Aebig.
"It started with just two or three nurses having conversations with each other about what we want to keep the same and what we want to gain from possibly having a union involved," said Popp.

Some of the nurses in favor of unionizing want better patient to nurse ratios, safer work environments and reduced mandatory overtime.

"We certainly respect their right to organize but we really believe that it's better for us if we can work directly with our nurses," said Munson Medical Center President Al Pilong.

He also said not all nurses want to unionize. Julia Thirlby who is a registered nurse at Munson said though she would also like to see some changes, unionizing is not the way to go.

Thirlby also said she would rather deal with any problem directly, instead of having the Michigan Nurses Association do it for her.

"Our nurses are a key component of our healthcare team," said Pilong. "We appreciate the work they do every day in taking great care of patients."

Those for the union argue that it will make conditions better for patients too.

"Patient safety is our number one goal and our number one main focus," said Popp.

The vote is expected to take place within the next three weeks.

"We wouldn't have filed if we weren't sure we were going to win," said Aebig.

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