Medical assistants gather in Ann Arbor to support colleagues negotiating with Michigan Medicine

ANN ARBOR – A group of Michigan Medicine medical assistants gathered outside the hospital Tuesday afternoon to demonstrate support for colleagues negotiating a new contract with the healthcare system.

The United Physician Assistants of Michigan Medicine were first recognized as a union during the pandemic, and negotiations with management have come a long way since October, said UPAMM President Jill Hasen.

“At first things didn’t go well at all, and then we got support from the regents at the University of Michigan,” said Hasen. “Negotiations are going very well now. We have wonderful conversations that we actually work on. “

The rally, Hasen said, was not a protest, but a sign of support for the UPAMM negotiating team, which is currently negotiating with the university for seven days. These talks will end on Friday, with a focus on the group’s proposed salary.

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Simbiat Monsur, medical assistant at Michigan Medicine, holds a sign in support of colleagues negotiating a contract with the healthcare system on May 4, 2021. (Meredith Bruckner)

“We are pleased with the outcome and remain cautiously optimistic,” said Hatim Elhady, a medical assistant at the Michigan Medicine preoperative clinic. “We hope the negotiations will remain fair when we come to important issues, including economic issues.”

Elhady said he saw PA’s work change drastically during the pandemic, including the fact that many were used in hospitals to treat COVID patients.

“This, of course, resulted in us increasing patient workloads, changing work schedules, and also being kind of a mainstay for the University of Michigan in making sure their patients received quality care from providers,” Elhady said.

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