Press Release

Michigan Medicine Physician Assistants say ‘Union Yes’

For Release:


Sarah Hager Mosby

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Statement by American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and AFT Michigan President David Hecker following the announcement that the University of Michigan has officially recognized the AFT as the representative of the nearly 350 physician assistants employed at Michigan Medicine:

AFT President Randi Weingarten said:

“As the country faces unprecedented economic, health and racial justice crises, workers need job security, financial and health protections, and a voice on the job more than ever. Our frontline workers, like those at Michigan Medicine, show up for the people of Ann Arbor every day and have been on the frontlines of this pandemic—they protect us, and they deserve protections to keep themselves and their families safe.

“Today is a victory for close to 350 healthcare workers, but more broadly for the people of Michigan, who rely on Michigan Medicine for high-quality frontline care for their families. I want to give special thanks to the tireless work of AFT Michigan and the University of Michigan for working together to make this possible. As the university continues to navigate its response to the crises we face, they have shown that if we have decision-makers in the room who value worker dignity and voice, we can emerge stronger together.”

AFT Michigan President David Hecker said:

“The physician assistants on the United Physician Assistants at Michigan Medicine organizing committee did a solid job talking to other physician assistants and building consensus around the need for a union—the need to have a strong voice at the table. Organizing a union is always hard work, but doing it in the middle of a global pandemic is tremendous. We welcome UPAMM into AFT Michigan.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.