Model Unit Process (MUP)

Our union members and leaders strive to ensure that we are all empowered to effect change at the unit level, achieving changes that improve patient care, and the conditions and environment where our healthcare workers work.

Win - the MUP!

In 2004, VFNHP filed grievances about serious hospital-wide safe staffing issues. Through that process, but before the case went to arbitration, in 2006 we won a significant victory now known as the Model Unit Process, or “MUP.” Fletcher Allen Health Care (FAHC) agreed to a settlement with VFNHP that contained a comprehensive labor-management quality improvement plan, or MUP. The goals of the Model Unit Process are to build a collaborative culture, a system-wide approach to quality improvement, an infrastructure for continuous quality improvement, and continuous bargaining.

Safe Staffing continues to be a critical issue for nurses and other healthcare professionals today. The MUP is designed to allow our members to address staffing directly, and take a much more active role in the management of their units. Each MUP involves members and management working together, facilitated by a mutually chosen third party expert facilitator (Bonnie Walker, Tupelo Group LLC). Each MUP group uses FAHC financial, human resource and quality data as well as unit surveys to redesign the units to best meet the needs of the patients and staff. After completing unit surveys and tests for change, the final product for each unit that completes the MUP includes a staffing grid, and information about each unit's specific improvements in a hospital-wide measure such as infection reduction and unit-specific quality improvements.

As of 2012, the MUP has been used successfully on all inpatient units, and the process is currently being expanded to include the procedural and outpatient areas.

Testimonials from Staff Nurses:

  • "The better educated the bedside nurse, the better the outcomes."
  • "If [the whole unit] had this knowledge it would be very empowering."
  • "Collaborating with nurses from other units was my favorite part."
  • "It was very helpful to learn about the budget and how the hospital comes up with the numbers we have on our units."

And on a personal note:
" . . .through the MUP process I found the resources to be able to have serious conversations with my co-workers about difficult issues. I used to run from those discussions. I've grown with that and learned a lot personally."