LANSING, Mich., Sept. 8, 2023 — State Rep. Kara Hope (D-Holt) partnered with representatives from One Fair Wage, the Restaurant Opportunity Center, Michigan Nurses Association, Michigan League for Public Policy, and the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity to host a town hall last night on recently passed and upcoming workers rights legislation.

“I’m proud of the work that we’ve accomplished for Michigan’s workers,” Hope said. “As we continue to fight for union rights and make the investments we need to attract great manufacturing jobs, we also need to make sure we’re protecting service and retail workers. Fair scheduling provides workers with the notice they need to plan their lives.”

Hope recently reintroduced a bill requiring service and retail businesses with 100 or more employees to provide employees with two weeks’ advance notice for scheduling.

“For far too long, unpredictable and erratic scheduling practices have been the source of severe amounts of stress for working people across the country,” said Saru Jayaraman, president of One Fair Wage. “The fair scheduling legislation introduced by Rep. Hope will have tangible effects on millions of Michigan workers, making it easier for them to budget, juggle child care duties and plan their lives.”

Michigan Democrats’ strategy of supporting both economic development and workers’ rights would seem to be paying off. The unemployment rate sits at a historic low, businesses have expanded their manufacturing presence in Michigan, and legislative Democrats’ approval polling has outperformed expectations. A sizable majority of voters applaud efforts to expand union rights.

“As union members, we know how important it is to advocate for what is right,” said Jeff Breslin of the Michigan Nurses Association. “That’s why, as conditions in our hospitals continue to deteriorate, we are proud that Rep. Hope has joined us in calling for the swift passage of the Safe Patient Care Act. If passed, this legislation would protect and improve conditions for every Michigan citizen who has ever been a patient in a hospital, has ever had a family member be a patient in a hospital, or could ever be a patient in a Michigan hospital. Health care executives can’t keep working Michigan nurses past exhaustion and giving us more patients than we can safely care for. Michigan can do better, and Rep. Hope gets that.”

The Safe Patient Care Act would mandate evidence-based registered nurse-to-patient ratios by unit to ensure high-quality care and limit the rampant use of forced RN overtime, among other measures. The state budget makes considerable investments in behavioral health care worker retention and increases wages for direct care workers, among other measures to support Michigan’s health care workers.