Crossing the Picket Line

Stories and advice if you decide to cross the picket line.

Please check out the MNA related FAQ in the FAQ’s tab at the top of the page for advice as well as the Resigning from MNA tab.

Since 4th of July is on a Sunday, Monday will be treated like a holiday. since no mail will be going out Monday, people should make sure their resignation letters go out by Saturday. 

Everyone should talk to their manager about their intent to cross. This can obviously help them plan for staffing, but also show to them your true intentions. Basically, if you show up on Tuesday they know you’re just not faking wanting to cross to “get inside”.


137 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by drichmn on June 21, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    from the Q&A page:

    If you plan to cross the picket line, resign from MNA by sending them a written notice, and let your manager and HR know because they are planning to assist nurses to enter and leave the hospital safely.

    Also, any intimidation or harassment you experience should be reported to your manager and HR dept. They are enforcing safe workplace policies.

    If you are harassed away from work contact your local police department and file a complaint.

    Always document all incidents as to who, what , where, and when.

    And retain any documents or emails that you receive from MNA.


    • Posted by integritynurse on June 22, 2010 at 11:34 am

      I heard that you don’t actually resign, you just change your membership from a voting to a non-voting membership. It costs a little less, and you give up the right to vote and be on unit councils. Is this your understanding as well? And should we do this right away? Or wait a little longer to see how the bargaining (if any) goes? I already know of about 10-12 nurses who are planning on crossing just on my unit alone.


      • Posted by wildfox on June 22, 2010 at 3:04 pm

        I am so glad to hear that many nurses are going to go to work. Sanity prevails! Now this is what is a true “We care for you” moment.


      • Posted by professionalRN on June 22, 2010 at 10:58 pm

        I know of a dozen on my unit as well that are planning to cross. I heard that once you resign from the union you can designate the dues to be given to a non-profit organization. Is this true?


        • Posted by drichmn on June 22, 2010 at 11:03 pm

          this is from the Q&A blog post topic.

          Posted by dragonfly on June 21, 2010 at 11:10 pm

          In regard to resigning from the MNA if you intend to cross the picket line, this is directly from the MNA office. “The cost per month is $49.30 for the “service fee”. Your pension, health benefits, and seniority would not be affected as that is what your Union has negotiated for you. You would not be requred to support the strike if you are no longer a MNA member.” per nancy.carrier, (Membership Assistant).

          MNA will keep your reduced dues as a “service fee”. Doesn’t look like you could donate them any place else.


          • Posted by professionalRN on June 23, 2010 at 4:58 pm

            Thanks for the info. One of the nurses at our hospital that crossed in 1984 said she designated her dues to be donated to AHA for 9 years after that strike because she chose not to be a non-voting member during that time. Looks like that is not an option any longer.


      • Posted by anotherview on June 25, 2010 at 5:20 am

        Actually you can participate in unit councils as long as it is not the Labor Management committee. FYI.
        Anyone ready and willing to cross, we will welcome you with open arms.


        • Posted by Anurse on June 28, 2010 at 9:55 pm

          If you resign you will not sit on any unit councils. Those seats are approved by MNA, it’s in the contract that we worked so hard for.


  2. Posted by drichmn on June 22, 2010 at 11:56 am

    From what others have said you do resign your membership but I would encourage you to talk to your HR department..

    According to her comments, anurse has been discussing this with both HR and MNA rep so hopefully she’ll weigh in on it although she has said her work schedule is heavier this week and she won’t be as timely in her replies.

    I would suggest taking the action before crossing the picket line.


    • Posted by integritynurse on June 22, 2010 at 1:18 pm

      Thank you, I will. And thanks for the great job you are doing by helping out anurse. We are good friends and this blog is an amazing effort on her part (she is quite busy!) so thanks for all that you are doing.


    • Posted by quiltmom on June 23, 2010 at 4:49 am

      Yes , you should resign from the bargaining unit before crossing. I contacted the National Right to Work Legal Foundation and they stated that courts have upheld fines levied against members of a union who cross the picket line during a strike. MNA also states they can discipline, censure, expel you or fine you if you cross. The safest thing to do would be to resign before crossing.


      • Posted by quiltmom on June 23, 2010 at 4:52 am

        Also, I crossed the line during the first strike. Even before the strike took place, there were e-mails that went out to my co-workers criticizing me and stating why I was crossing. Many of these e-mails were sent by one of our union reps. They were very cruel and mean. Not one person asked me why I felt the way I did.


        • Posted by drichmn on June 23, 2010 at 6:55 am

          Do you have a copy of any of the emails? That union rep should not be doing that. I would also provide them to your HR manager. Intimidation is not being tolerated by the hospitals.


          • Posted by anotherview on June 25, 2010 at 5:21 am

            Keep in mind – if the union is sending them to personal, home e-mails, the hospitals hands are tied to some degree. They can only enforce what goes on in the workplace.


      • Posted by drichmn on June 23, 2010 at 6:53 am

        In the MNA related FAQ there is a quote from a fact sheet from MNA that states “MNA Bylaws provide that members, after due process, can be disciplined if charges are brought by other members. Such discipline may include reprimand, censure, suspension, or expulsion from membership. Contrary to what many hospitals have told nurses, there is no provision in the MNA Bylaws for assessing fines.”

        I agree they should resign prior to crossing the picket line.


        • You are actually resigning your membership in the bargaining unit of MNA….you then become a member of the non-bargaining unit…so technically you are still a member as we are not right to work state in which you could opt out of the union totally. You loose your voting privilege but cannot be fined for crossing the picket line.


        • Posted by Zoe'smom on June 25, 2010 at 7:13 pm

          Re: the Union’s threat to discipline members who cross the picket line. What does this really mean? Will I be scolded, shamed, set up, have my lunch stollen or something else? I seriously want to know. Thank you


          • Posted by anotherview on June 26, 2010 at 5:28 am

            You are entitled to a copy of your union by-laws. This is not the contract but the “laws” of being an MNA member. I have heard you can find them on the MNA website. It takes a bit of doing but can be found. Maybe someone can get them and post them here somewhere as a .pdf?


  3. Posted by Serenity on June 22, 2010 at 7:32 pm


    I am new to this, but I was one of the few and the brave that crossed the picket line the first time and will do it again if I have to. I am so grateful that there are other nurses who think with their minds and decide after reading and hearing the facts before jumping to conclusions. I will be visiting this site daily for the support and valuable information.


    • Posted by drichmn on June 22, 2010 at 7:58 pm

      Thanks so much. Feel free to share your thoughts and feelings in any of the blog post topics.


    • Serenity…..Good for you!! It encourages us to hear of those who have crossed and survived….we are here for support…and many will be crossing with you if this happens again!


    • Posted by Steaming on June 23, 2010 at 3:37 pm

      I support you. I respect and admire your courage, commitment and true love for your profession of Nursing. Thank you for your willingness to go against the grain. Your patients need you and your real friends will support you.


  4. Posted by anotherview on June 22, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    I would like to say thanks to all the nurses who worked during the one day strike. I am very aware of the courage, conviction and fortitude it took and realize how much you will go through in the coming days (and yes, maybe months and years). I was always taught that “doing the right thing” isn’t always easy but it is the best way to go in life. Your patients thank you immensely. Those of us non-contract folks also thank you from the bottom of our hearts.


    • Posted by drichmn on June 22, 2010 at 7:59 pm

      Well said. Thank you for visiting us and hope you’ll come back and share more of your thoughts in the other blog post topics.


  5. I have been a nurse for over 35 yrs and plan to cross. I cannot ethically or morally condone walking out on our pts. The unprofessional behavior of some of our co-workers saddens me. Does anyone know how it came about that the “no strike clause” was removed? As I understand it, there used to be one sometime before 1980. THANK YOU for starting this website. It is helping me maintain some sense of sanity through all this.


    • Posted by professionalRN on June 22, 2010 at 11:04 pm

      From my understanding it is a “no strike/no lock-out” clause in our contract at North on page 5. But it is only for the term of the contract and since we are out of the contract time-frame I guess it can happen. It also states a strike can occur if the Pension Agreement has been re-opened so it may have to do with that as well.
      It is all such a very sad situation and I am very glad to have this site to hear voices of reason. Thanks!


    • Posted by faithful on June 23, 2010 at 2:04 pm

      I applaud you. I’ve been at the same hospital for over 38 years. I will be there for my patients. We are so blessed to have a profession that rewards us not only monitarily, but the personal gratification that no amount of money can replace. I’m so tired of the liberal, Washington-style entitlement. I agree we need to resign and stand strong for our patients.


    • Dragonfly, thank you for setting such a good example for the young nurses! We need to teach new nurses to be patients advocates….and also advocates for themself and our profession.


      • Posted by Becky on June 25, 2010 at 6:24 pm

        Thank you so much for creating this web site. I have been a RN for 28 years. The behavior and attitude of a large majority of my fellow RNs has made me ashamed to be a nurse. Now when I pass visitors in the hall I want to turn my name badge around so that they can’t see I’m a RN. Since the one day strike I feel a distance that I don’t think will ever be bridged. I have always thought of the nursing professionals I work with as intelligent, caring, compassionate people who are capable of thinking critically and making decisions based on those attributes. I have discovered that the majority of those I have worked so closely with have not been responsible enough to know and understand the issues they are striking for. They seem to be fighing just to fight. I am ashamed to say that I think they are some of the most selfish people I’ve met. They seem to not know or care what the rest of the country is going through.
        Thank you to all the nurses who will be crossing. You are brave to take a stand for your patients, your beleifs and your profession. I have not been a member of the union for quite a few years. For the last 3 years I have had a non union job. I’ll be there with the ones of you who are crossing.


        • Posted by Abby Sincere on June 28, 2010 at 1:05 pm

          Wow … Thank you for starting this blog, I also was a “union” RN when I first graduated from nursing school, and feel the exact way you do. I also feel that striking at this time is a very selfish thing to do. I was laid off from a nursing job and after a year of looking for work, finally found a terrific non union job. I did take a pay cut and now work nights, but am very happy to have this job. If they want to strike and say it is for the patients… move over… I’d be happy to take your place and know there are other nurses out there looking for work.

          I remember, and not too long ago either, when I worked at the hospital.. I was a float RN and would go to every unit as needed. I also worked as a troubleshooter and would check on each unit to see if help was needed. I can’t tell you how many times nurses would complain about the “conditions” and yet these same nurses were the first ones to log on the internet and play computer games, and also the same nurses to make sure they got in their breaks and lunch, oh yes, smoking breaks were also a priority.

          I am amazed at how the posts on MNA are talking about “solidarity” and nurses as family, well I only wished they would practice what they preached. As a new grad., I remember a few nurses refusing to train new grads in. They say nurses eat their young, and I found that out to be so true.. not all, but a big majority and it seems like they are the same “bullies” that are out there threatening nurses who cross the lines.

          I say .. “you go girl !” and cross those lines.. be brave and KNOW that YOU are doing the right thing for your patients.. and you are the nurses that “care”.. keep the light shining and lead by example. You have my support !!! and keep up the good work.


  6. Posted by You have support on June 22, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Just know that those of you who have made the very difficult decision to cross have the support of many of your peers in other roles in the hospitals. We are aware of the negative tactics of the union and nurses and are saddened by the damage they are doing to their peers/friends. Please stay strong – just as they have a right to strike you have right to your beliefs that guide you to cross. Our patients deserve the best and to me that’s what you are.


  7. Posted by you have support on June 22, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    Wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it. We have patients to take care of….what you are doing takes courage of conviction.

    Let me be clear, I want any staffing issues that are truly impacting care resolved….my question is why isn’t the ANA model acceptable? It makes sense to me – a non-nurse health care worker with >25 years on the books.


    • I think the ANA model makes sense….but not acceptable to the NNU who is proposing the rigid ratios. Again, I don’t believe Children’s should adopt these ratios as they don’t apply to a children’s hospital….but as the old saying….be careful what you ask for because you just might get it! If we continue to push these ratios we just might get them….and that would hurt us more than anything.


  8. Posted by Anonymous on June 23, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Boy I would like to resign from the union and not pay them anything!!!!!!!!! They are costing me more then helping I just want to work, I love my job and feeding and housing the family is nice too.


    • Posted by notwalking on June 28, 2010 at 7:41 pm

      Please make a list of why you love your job. You may be able to trace those bennies back to the negotiating table.


  9. Posted by Steaming on June 23, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    What makes me really sad is the way the vote was conducted. When given the ballot friends were told vote yes here or if you need privacy to vote there are areas over there, when folding the ballot to turn in they were told no folding allowed. When they approached their hospital specific MNA Reps, and voiced that they were willing to accept concessions. The reps loudly stated ” We will not accept concessions”

    I can only thank this bad behavior because they have turned the Nurses off and have given the Nurses the ability to think on their own. Crossing the picket line is a big decision but when MNA is only part of your brain, one can come to a logical conclusion quickly. Shame on the bad behavior, bullying and inability to listen to your paying body.


  10. Posted by Wyzeguy on June 23, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    I hope you don’t mind non nurses posting too. Even though emotions may be high, I would advise that none of you resign at this point. See where things go. You may not need to expose yourselves to union criticisim. There will be massive amounts of damage done here. No need to take the abuse if you can avoid it.


    • Posted by drichmn on June 23, 2010 at 4:45 pm

      In order to avoid punitive measures from MNA if they plan to cross the picket line, my advice would be to resign before they cross. It would certainly get MNA’s attention.


    • Posted by Serenity on June 23, 2010 at 5:15 pm

      I totally agree, one step at a time. I crossed the picket line and went to vote on Monday and I voted No to a future strike. They can discipline me, as long as it doesn’t cost anything, I’m fine:) Words and paper are what they are, it is the action of others that make statements!!


  11. Posted by integritynurse on June 24, 2010 at 12:20 am

    Just came from work at Childrens. We called a code on our floor tonite. Everyone flew into action like a well oiled machine and we had a good outcome. Our charge nurse was awesome as well as everyone who participated. Now I am certain that I will cross the picket line, because I don’t think the “rent-a -nurses” can do as good a job as we can. I’m now scared not to cross the line, and leave these precious children in the hands of nurses they don’t know and who don’t know them. God help us all!


    • Posted by MNChildrensNurse on June 26, 2010 at 1:24 am

      While it will be a different environment, I think the replacement nurses will be fine. What they need is a welcoming and open environment with those of us who cross being willing to help them out and show them the ropes. Our kindness to them will be met with a willingness to care for our patients as we do and will help keep the environment stable for our families and patients. We will also have the opportunity to make some new friends, and learn what nursing is like for them where they all come from.
      When and if our replacement nurses do leave, I want them to go home and be able to say they worked with some really great nurses up here in Minnesota, as I am sure they want us to say that they did an awesome job for us in this stressful time.
      As far as your code event being run like a well oiled machine, that is how it is in my unit as well, and I am going to miss all that we as a unit have built together in the trust and just general “knowing” of what to do in those situations. I feel that the MNA and the NNU have robbed us of that and that makes me very sad.


    • Posted by iresigned on June 28, 2010 at 11:09 pm

      I work for ANW Hospital . As everyone knows the skill set to keep the Level One system operational is that highly professional RN’s are in the cockpit. I decided to resign the MNA
      the day the system failed. I agree 100% with integritynurse, she knows as well I do, in the responsiblity we have. As my young son once told me, “mom, it’s okay that you work, I understand, it is a vocation for you.” There are many,many nurses other than myself, who know in their heart…This Strike is Wrong. Nursing is not defined by the MNA or the NNU, it is defined by wonderful people , who care for their pt’s, and made the decision : Do no Harm.


  12. Posted by Anonymous on June 24, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    I have worked at Children’s hospital for the last 18 years. Before that I have worked in hospitals in Iowa and Utah. Children’s Minneapois is greatly superior to any of them. We are very well staffed, and have wonderful support from our Nurse Manager.
    Until contract negotiations began, it was a cheerful place to work. The nurses supported each other and there was a general feeling of comradery. Things seemed to have changed so quickly. Now the feeling is of tension, with accusations that management is lying to us, and pressuring from co-workers to stand together with the union. I do not feel that the union is honestly representing us here at Children’s hospital. It seems as though the union is promising a piece of the pie in the sky to everyone, and all under the “We Care for You” slogan. In my opinion the union is “forcing the dog to bite the hand of it’s owner” In the attempt to persuade the public that we are doing this for them, we have conveyed that message that their children are not safe here.
    I do not accept the union’s premise. I do not think they have a right to dictate to this organization how they must staff the hospital. This hospital is motivated by patient outcomes, and will continue to work in the interest of their clients.
    If the nurses walk out on this hospital and their vulnerable patients and their families, they should be ready to shoulder the burden, should anything compromise the safety of our precious babies.


    • Posted by drichmn on June 24, 2010 at 2:34 pm

      thank you for sharing your thoughts. This is the kind of information that the media is missing in their stories. They are only hearing the “scripted” views from both sides. It’s those of you who are experiencing this firsthand that the public isn’t hearing from. I share your concern about how the reputations of our hospitals are being unfairly shredded. They are recognized as national leaders in patient outcomes and the nursing staff has worked hard to earn magnet status. It just sickens me that so many nurses have not questioned those tactics.


      • Posted by Connie1960 on June 25, 2010 at 5:19 pm

        Just a quick note here from a non-nurse but supporter of this website and all of the nurses here that still view the care of patients their #1 responsibility. My son is 3 years old and we have been to Children’s Hospital 3 times since he was born. The first time was when he when he was around 9 months old and very, very sick. You cannot imagine how grateful this terrified first-time mom was to show up at the ER on the weekend with lethargic, dehydrated child. As a fellow Healthcare provider, former EMT and Clinic Manager I appreciate all that you do and know you do not have an easy job. I was met with the most compassionate, caring group of professionals you could ever imagine. I am eternally grateful for not only the wonderful care my son received by all members of the team, but also how I was treated, respected and cared for. As I type this my tears are flowing down my cheeks. What a horrible day that was…and how different an outcome we could have had without the skilled staff in the right place, at the right time. Thank you for caring for my child. Thank you for stepping up. Thank you for being the kind of people a mom can trust.


        • Posted by drichmn on June 25, 2010 at 5:27 pm

          Thank you so much for sharing such a heartfelt comment. We appreciate it. And we are here for you and your family as well as the nurses who are so torn by all of this. I am so sorry that these tactics are hurting the patients, families, nurses, and all hospital staff. It spills over to us non-contract RN’s and staff from other hospitals as well.

          I hope your son is doing well. He obviously has a very caring Mom.


          • Posted by Connie1960 on June 25, 2010 at 10:48 pm

            Empathy abounds for all of you and the difficult position the MNA has put you in. I know that many of you are torn, worried, embarrassed and fearful about everything that is going on. I’m so sorry for what you are experiencing. 😦 There is such warmth and kindness on this blog; it is as evident in your comments to each other as it is in your patient care.

            Thank you do much for asking about my son. He is doing wonderfully, and thriving. A very happy and healthy 3 year old. Know that some of you can take credit for that. To the caring nurses at Abbott where I delivered after a very difficult pregnancy and C-section to the amazing professionals who helped us through the rough day I described above, you will always be remembered and cherished in my heart.


    • Anonymous, thank you for sharing your thoughts. As I too work at Children’s and find it to be a fantastic organization and have been sickened by the attitudes of many co-workers. I still cannot figure out what happened since we were all so proud of becoming a magnet hospital..and now I hear comments like “this isn’t the hospital I love to work at anymore.” Now why is that I must ask….because I can’t think of anything that has changed.


    • Posted by MNChildrensNurse on June 26, 2010 at 1:14 am

      Perhaps we do need to contact the media and share our feelings. I hate the thought of my hospital being shown in such a negative light as well and being ripped to shreds. I also hate the thought that all of our reputations are going down because of MNA. It is very hard to face our families at this time, and know that they are probably thinking, “how can you nurses leave us?” I just want to be able to tell them that some of us will still be there, and that the replacement nurses will be welcomed and helped in every way so that we will still be providing the quality of care that they are used too…they will see alot of new faces, but the care will not change. I have complete faith in the nurses who will be coming to join us.


    • Posted by kidsrn on June 28, 2010 at 3:31 pm

      I also work at Children’s, and I have for 11 years. I sit on several committees and I have seen the slow decay of the relationship between Children’s and MNA. We used to be able to work things out and come to a common agreement. Over the last 5 years that has NOT been the case, we disagree and the hospital has the final say. I sit in meetings where the “former” CNO felt that it would be safe for 1 RN to care for 2 “or more” intubated patients. She has been pushing that model for years. Whoever commented on magnet–what a joke!! I absolutely agree that my RN colleagues deserve the distinction, but the hospital does not!!
      I am glad that you feel appreciated by Children’s, but many of us do not!!!
      Obviously you all feel a commitment to your place of employment and I applaud that. However, I would guess that you are the same group of people who work their shift and that’s it. You do not sit on any hospital, unit, or nursing committees. You have no idea what brought us to this place that we’re in!! NO ONE wants to strike, even those of us that have the courage NOT to cross the picket line. All you are doing by crossing is forcing the rest of us to stay out longer!
      I work a .75 and sit on more than 4 committees, Nursing Integrative Board and system Care Delivery being 2 of them. Children’s has become very “top heavy” by having nurse “specialists” that do not work at the bedside but dictate what we do.
      My family will be without a paycheck. I am willing to make that sacrifice in hopes that somehow we can get back to the place we were 10 years ago! We have great language in our contract that speaks to safe staffing and many of the things YOUR MNA team is fighting for. If the hospital would honor what they have agreed to, we wouldn’t be in this place of distrust!
      I’m sure that this will be deleted, but I couldn’t stand reading it any longer.


      • Posted by drichmn on June 28, 2010 at 3:46 pm

        No, I’m not deleting comments that disagree as long as you do so respectfully. And I really object to the whole line of thinking that those who are crossing the picket line are causing you to stay out longer. Who do you expect to care for the patients? They are crossing because they have a stronger commitment to their patients than they do to their union. It’s as simple as that.


        • Posted by Serenity on June 28, 2010 at 6:58 pm

          It is not 10 years ago and things have changed so much. I feel that we are responsible as the nurse taking care of our patients to utilize the resources that our available to us; the charge nurse, nursing leader, clinical manager, Rapid Response. I have not been turned down by any of these resources when I have asked for help. I get frustrated when change needs to occur and a decision goes through 3-5 different committees and nothing gets done! I’m glad there are nurses who enjoy and are good at developing policies so that there is some guidelines to go buy. I will cross the picket line again because what I do is take care of patients, I can’t do that if I’m not working. Everyone who works at our hospitals are being affected by this, it is every employee who works at our hospitals. There might be hospitals that close because of another strike, and for sure future layoffs. The senior nurses will be first to call back, but what about the new, younger nurses! I hope we can all look at the bigger picture and realize how lucky we are to have jobs….there are so many without that would do anything to have a job. I’m glad I have mine!


      • Posted by cathy on June 28, 2010 at 10:35 pm

        couldn’t have said it better myself. well said!


  13. Posted by MNChildrensNurse on June 25, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    I too am a Children’s Nurse and absolutely agree with all of you. I was scheduled off the day of the first strike, and took the coward’s way out and did not work. However, I will be working this strike and will be proud to do it. I am proud to be a nurse at Children’s, and will not throw that away.
    Too all of the Children’s nurses who plan to cross-is there a way we can all get together and offer to help with training of the replacement nurses to help make the transition as smooth and as safe as possible?
    I am just thinking that if those of us who work with our equipment hands on on a daily basis would help with training, things would run a bit smoother for our hospital.


    • Posted by drichmn on June 25, 2010 at 4:24 pm

      I would encourage you to talk to your managers and possibly your education dept. They will be the ones responsible for determining orientation for replacements.


      • Posted by MNChildrensNurse on June 25, 2010 at 4:32 pm

        drichmn–that is what I have done. I would just like to see other Children’s nurses do the same, and hopefully the hospital will get us in on the orientation of the replacements.


        • Posted by drichmn on June 25, 2010 at 4:41 pm

          Sounds like a good plan. I’m not sure how the hospitals are structuring it. If it will be the same as they did for a one day or some other process will be used. I would think they would welcome assistance by the experienced nurses around unit procedures and policies that are most important for the replacements to know as soon as they hit the units. Perhaps on a unit level the nurses who are planning to cross could put something together as well and have it be a unit “cheat sheet” so to speak.


          • Posted by MNChildrensNurse on June 25, 2010 at 5:53 pm

            the cheat sheet is also a good idea, however, I don’t know if any other nurses on my unit are planning to cross, as nobody dares to talk about it to anybody else. So I guess we won’t really know until July 6th, but I will start writing ideas down for a cheat sheet and go from there.


    • You can talk to your manager about the training. I think also that some of us will be there will make things easier during the transition and in the early days of the strike will be a huge help.


  14. Posted by LoveMyJob on June 25, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    I’m a non-contract RN for one of the system’s involved. I was involved with processing the replacement nurses last time and will again be helping out. Reading the comments from those that plan to cross asking how to help brings tears to my eyes. It was an exhausting but also exhiliarating experience last time. We are on the right side of this issue! When this is over (if I still have job) I will continue to work with nurses who hold all views so I cannot be public about my views. I’m grateful for this forum!


  15. Posted by anotherview on June 25, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    I see a lot of Children’s nurses on the blog. What wonderful people you all are! I am hopeful that there are others from the other hospitals – ANW, etc who will be willing to cross also. The orientation program for the replacement RN’s is excellent but nothing beats someone who knows the day to day ins and outs. Many of the replacement nurses were wonderful but none but our own can truly give the top notch care we are so proud of. I am grateful that there are nurses out there willing to put themselves in the line of fire to the taunts and barbs thrown at them as they arrive on the busses but even more grateful to those of you who will subject yourselves to taunts and barbs every day after this ends. Remember, strength in numbers. If there are enough, maybe the backlash will be lessened. You may not know who we are but we are supporting you all the way.


  16. Posted by Serenity on June 26, 2010 at 4:35 am

    I work at United and I know that the first strike went quite well with the replacement nurses. I e-mailed suggestions to management after the first time on ways to make it better in case there was another strike. I also e-mailed the suggestion of a debriefing session to be held as often as needed for nurses who do cross the picket line. The hospital was very good about providing security and I never once ran into a person who was striking. There were plenty of support people around, computer people to help with questions about charting, etc. I did not feel alone and I felt supported. Most of all, to all of you who are thinking of crossing, the patients and families really appreciated having a “Regular” nurse from the hospital, I could sense their relief and that made my day. I know it’s a tough decision. IT IS THE RIGHT DECISION!!! Hang in there, there are going to be some long days ahead:)


    • Posted by you have support on June 26, 2010 at 9:16 am


      we will be there again………………


  17. Posted by Anonymous on June 26, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Do those of you who are strong enough to go against the grain and cross that picket line realize that there is a reason you are prepared to do this? God singled each of you out, strengthening you by the difficulties and trials he put in your life. So hold your head up and find that inner peace because this is what you are here for.


    • Thank you so much…..what you said makes any retaliation worth it. You are right ….God put me here for a reason and I am doing what He wants me to do….so I will follow Him instead of MNA.


    • Posted by Zoe'smom on June 27, 2010 at 7:48 pm

      Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. I have read your post several times. Most of the trials and difficulties in my life have been by MY bad choices but I do believe God can use them for my good and his too. Thank you!


  18. Posted by Phil on June 26, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    “Courage: the ability to step forward through fear” Unknown author.

    Thanks for an encouraging as well as informative site to ask questions and receive support.

    There are several nurses in my department who are seriously considering crossing the picket line, however they are somewhat tentative (or less brave) to cross on the first day. Does anyone know at this point if the hospitals will allow nurses to cross the line, say a week or two into the strike?


    • Posted by drichmn on June 26, 2010 at 12:28 pm

      Phil, I think that is a question that should go to their manager and HR dept.

      Encourage them to stop by the blog. They may find the information and support useful as they ponder what to do.


    • They should call their manager when they decide they want to cross. I imagine even a week into the strike there will be many starting to cross due to financial hardship or common sense winning out.


    • Posted by ProfessionalRN on June 26, 2010 at 4:11 pm

      My manager told me that the hospital will not accept nurses back once they have gone on strike. Only until the contract is settled and they take the MNA nurses back will those nurses be able to come back. It may be different in other facilities. For us we need to decide on day 1.


      • Posted by anotherview on June 26, 2010 at 4:44 pm

        Nurses always have the opportunity to change their mind and cross the picket line to work at any point in the strike. If they want to give it a day or two to see how it goes, and then call the re-entry number, they may do so. At Allina, we will welcome any nurses back who wish to work at any point in the strike.


      • Posted by drichmn on June 26, 2010 at 4:58 pm

        did you mention what facility you work at? I think this is something that anybody even contemplating waiting to cross after the first day should check out. I’ll make sure I put this in the MNA FAQ.


        • Posted by professionalRN on June 26, 2010 at 11:43 pm

          I am at North. I am meeting with our HR Labor Relations rep next week to discuss this and several other questions pertaining to our facility. I can post anything pertinent after the meeting.


          • Posted by drichmn on June 26, 2010 at 11:47 pm

            That would be good. Thank you.


          • Posted by conflictedRN on June 29, 2010 at 2:15 pm

            as one of the North nurses caught in the middle (support the union and the patients, but not ready to strike) I definitely feel the stress and pressure every day. I get it from all, at home from family & friends and every day I work. what are the people like me to do? Both sides need to come to some agreement soon, before the most important people caught in this get hurt……the men, women and children of our state who need health care at this most difficult time!


  19. Posted by an observer on June 28, 2010 at 2:04 am

    I am just curious, so please don’t take this as rude or being sarcastic. I am not a nurse, but work as support staff. I am wondering if you cross the picket line and the hospitals “break the union” what happens to your pay, benefits, etc? Does this mean you have to take whatever the hospital is offering? Are most of you okay with what the hospital has currently proposed for the new contract and that is why you are crossing? Don’t get me wrong, its much nicer to have nurses who know the floor and procedures than replacements, but I just wanted to know the reasoning behind it and how it affects the contract or your pay/benefits in the long run. Thanks for your honesty!


    • an observer, I am not trying to break the union….they have done some good things for our profession. I just think right now they are going down the wrong road and I am not traveling with them on this journey. I am hoping in the future we can work together again.


      • Posted by notwalking on June 28, 2010 at 10:48 pm

        That’s right! They have gone too far this time. NNU has taken us to the edge of the cliff and said “Jump!’ And my question is “Why? What for?”


  20. Posted by ANW RN on June 28, 2010 at 5:09 am

    There are so many truths for everyone during these tense times that we need patience and respect as it is a slippery slope and you don’t want to mess up your karma.
    I’m a male nurse and I didn’t get to where I am today my making poor decisions professionally or financially. I just have that weird feeling in my stomach that, for me, striking would be a poor decision and that somehow I won’t get MY job back.
    Funny, as a lifelong republican just voted Obama/Franken, what did it get me? A wife shockingly laid off and me potential on strike. Go figure.


  21. Posted by NoContractTeacher on June 28, 2010 at 8:54 am

    I, too, am without a contract, as a teacher, and it scares me as to what might happen if the union starts talking “strike”. Like the MNA, our union preaches about how ”It’s for the kids”, but then we strike? (In their defense, we (teachers) have not heard the word “strike” yet from our union leadership. It just scares me it might be comming if we don’t settle soon.)

    I have also thought about my actions should it ever come to a strike. I have had some of the same questions as many of you, and this forum has been quite helpful. Let it be known that those of you who have the courage to drop from the MNA and cross the picket lines, you have my full support and admiration. I will be doing the same should it ever come to that in my district.


  22. Posted by notsureyet on June 28, 2010 at 9:14 am

    An observer- I believe that the hospital would give you what is comparable to the non-contract hospitals- which is controlled by the union hospitals (somewhere in between I imagine) Probably the same for benefits. It’s not that the nostrike people are ok with the issues at hand, we just don’t believe that striking is a safe choice for anyone involved.


  23. Posted by Patient Advocate on June 28, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    As a nurse that has stood strong by my own Values and Morals, I question the Unions actions and Not listening to the nurses. “We are only as strong as our weakest link” No longer applies when our weakest link is the Union. What has the Union done for you? Are the ratio’s any better? Do you feel safe and secure in your unit? Will you walk across the picket line in numbers to care for the Patient and use your own Education and ability to do the job you were put on this earth to do?

    I will Stand Up for every Nurse that stands on the picket line and fights for the wills of the Union, I will also Stand Up for every Nurse as well as Replacement Nurse that enters and helps care for the paitents while the Nurses stand Up for thier rights.

    I will not agree with the Unions ways, not all areas of Nursing are in the best interest. But I do stand Next to the Nurse that puts being a Patient Advocate FIRST.


  24. Posted by nurserobin on June 28, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Does anyone know: I am told that MNA publishes the names of nurses that cross the picket line. If you resign from the union and cross the picket line, does MNA still publish your name to union members even though you are no longer a member? I would like to cross but am not crazy about the retailiation from union nurses. Thanks.


    • Posted by drichmn on June 28, 2010 at 1:30 pm

      If you resign from MNA they can’t discipline you. And if you are harassed or intimidated in any way you should report it to your manager, HR dept, secuirty and local police if necessary. Safe workplace environnments will be enforced. Please check out the FAQ’s tab at the top of the page for more information.


      • Posted by Bonnie Martin on June 28, 2010 at 6:15 pm

        We can work in a safe environment and still be shunned.


        • Posted by drichmn on June 28, 2010 at 6:24 pm

          This is not a place to restate all your beliefs. It is a place for those who don’t agree with your beliefs to comment. Nor is it a place for unsubstaniated claims or unfounded accusations.


      • Posted by Anonymous on June 29, 2010 at 1:58 am

        How about being harrassed by by people who plan to cross the picket line. Yes I will be striking but I have not treated any of my fellow employees with disrespect. My feelings toward my coworkers has not changed. However if we give into what the hospital is planning we will all lose in the end. Everyone has to do what they feel is right. I received a scathing letter from someone unknown reguarding MNA and our decision to strike. It seems that disrespect is going both ways. Please deal with people you have issues with directly. If you are threatend yes, go to HR.


        • Posted by drichmn on June 29, 2010 at 7:05 am

          Please don’t assume that any of us sent you the letter. And I haven’t heard of anybody who crossed the picket line during the one day strike harassing those picketing. They were pretty well separated from each other and I expect it to be the same this time.


        • I am sorry you received a threatening letter…but I do think the threats are leaning much more towards those who are planning to cross. It is not right from anyone.


  25. Posted by proudnurse on June 28, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Just yesterday, I held a sobbing mother who’s baby was showing little to no improvement. I also soothed a nervous mother as she held her tiny baby for the first time. How could I ever abandon these babies and their parents. I crossed and worked during Fairview’s stike 9 years ago. I did recieve a phone call that expressed great displeasure that I had done so from one of my co-workers. I did not resign my membership at that time and probably will not do so again as I still feel that my vote and voice do mean something. There was no “discipline” from the MNA for crossing-the hospital made this part of the agreement when a contract was finally reached. I applaud all of you for standing up to your principles.


    • Posted by drichmn on June 28, 2010 at 1:59 pm

      this is good to know: “There was no “discipline” from the MNA for crossing-the hospital made this part of the agreement when a contract was finally reached.” Thanks for for sharing this. There is alot of concern from those who may be thinking of crossing that there would be MNA retaliation.


  26. Posted by EMDurks on June 28, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    I work in the business office for one of the Organizations of the hospitals affected by the strike. I want to thank the administrators of this site and all you nurses who are taking a stand. I’m worn out hearing about how our hospitals are unsafe. I take a great deal of pride in the company I work for and I hate seeing our good names dragged through the mud. Minnesota has some of the top, if not the best, healthcare in the country. I respect each and every nurse I meet, striking or non. I believe fully that if you show me a good Doctor and I’ll show you a great nurse working at their side. But I fail to understand how walking out on patients effectively proves how much we care for them. THANK YOU for taking this stand. I assure you, there are thousands of non contract workers in the medical field who appreciate it.


  27. Posted by notsureyet on June 28, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    How about they just negotiate in full good faith tomorrow and settle this thing already! I would think 12,000 nurses under this kind of stress IS a public safety issue…


    • Posted by drichmn on June 28, 2010 at 3:37 pm

      Did MNA agree to negotiate tomorrow?


      • Posted by cathy on June 28, 2010 at 10:30 pm

        dear drichmn, MNA has agreed to meet 24/7 every day


        • Posted by drichmn on June 28, 2010 at 11:09 pm

          since Tuesday was the day that the federal mediator wanted them to meet and he wanted them to come up with what they were willing to compromise on, then why did MNA file the intent to strike in the first place? Whether MNA wanted to meet over the weekend is irrelevant since it was the mediator who was determining the next session.


          • Posted by an observer on June 29, 2010 at 8:36 pm

            drichmn, I am going to say they filed the strike notice because most negotiations do not occur until right before the deadline sadly. Without the threat of the strike the hospital has no reason to negotiate. For those that say a strike is not the way to go about this and think the two sides just need to negotiate, you would be hard pressed to find the hospitals meeting in the middle if it were not possible for you to strike. The contract the hospital proposed with all the take backs, unlimited mandatory cancels, etc would be what you would get without the union and the threat of the strike. And if people would stick together, not cross the line, not be a replacement, the hospitals couldn’t allow a strike to even occur since someone has to care for the patients. Its really that simple. I certainly do not agree with everything the union stands for, but I understand why they filed the notice to strike.


            • Posted by drichmn on June 29, 2010 at 8:43 pm

              we’ll have to agree to disagree on that. I don’t know of anyone, myself included, that likes being backed into a corner and I don’t believe that putting patients in the middle is the right thing to do when bargaining a labor contract. When you say you’re putting patients first and thinking only of their safety, you don’t use them to threaten the hospitals into accepting everything you want or you’ll stop caring for the patients. I find that thinking rather unsavory myself.

            • an observer, I feel the reason the strike will be extended is because MNA is insisting on the staffing ratios that would do nothing more than cost the hospital money. The “take backs” do not include unlimited mandatory cancellations…only 6 per year. Why can’t we look at more flexible ratios..perhaps based on pt acuity?

  28. Posted by MinorityRN on June 28, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    I just wanted to tell you thank you for starting this blog! It really helps to know that there will be other nurses who will take a stand and do what is right for them, not because others tell them they have to do otherwise. As a nurse working at Abbott, it really saddens me that my fellow nurses act the way they do towards nurses like me who can’t support a strike. I feel like I am there to do one thing, and that is to take care of the patients placed into my care. The unprofessionalism by MNA elected nurses and other nurses using scare tactics such as alienation and other such things as well, has me really seriously considering pursuing other nursing opportunites. I would really hate to leave Abbott, as I have really enjoyed my unit and what I do, but working in an environment where nurses think treating collegues/partner nurses as if they have committed some horrendous crime is ok, is pathetic and childish. The sarcasm in fellow nurse’s responses to me so far really make me sit back and analyze who these people are deep down inside……and these people call themselves nurses……really?


    • Posted by Phil on June 28, 2010 at 6:41 pm

      Thanks for your bravery in taking a stand. While I agree that it is not right to treat nurses that way, I think many nurses on both sides are not acting the way they normally would due to fears that they too are facing about the upcoming strike. Most HR Departments have policies regulating even sarcasm toward other employees. Keep up the courage.


  29. Posted by mutt on June 28, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    I’ve recently relocated to MN and have just completed my first day of oreintation at Southdale hospital today. After reading the information on the MNA’s website, I’ve made the decision that no matter what the cost I will cross the picket line on the 6th. I knew their were other nurses in this sate that feel as I do about this foolish and selfish strike. I am so very greatful we have decided to start standing up to let the public know that there as still those of us who really do care for them. Perhaps a rally of our own is in order?

    I’m not a member of the union as far as I know, nor do I want to become one if I can avoid it. Should I file a letter of resignation with the MNA to be safe?


    • Posted by anotherview on June 29, 2010 at 5:30 am

      Please contact your HR department. It is possible that your particular position is non-contract but you need to find out for sure.


  30. Posted by Bonnie Martin on June 28, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    If you truely believe in what you are doing, why do you not want to state your name? Do you think no one will know? if I were going to cross I would tell everyone!


    • Posted by drichmn on June 28, 2010 at 6:14 pm

      All one has to do is read about how nurses who have spoke out against a strike have been treated to understand why they wish to remain anonymous. They are not seeking recognition, they are seeking a safe place to express their views.


    • Posted by Zoe'smom on June 28, 2010 at 10:41 pm

      Bonnie Martin, My name doesn’t matter as I am one of many who will cross the picket line to take care of patients. Just because we don’t raise our voices, wear red and bully those who don’t agree with us doesn’t mean we are not here. If you are so unhappy with your job and feel that you are being treated unfairly please go somewhere else!


  31. Posted by happytofindyou on June 28, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    My husband sent me the Strib article that introduced me to this blog. How refreshing to find out where the minority has it’s voice. I have been a nurse for 34 years and was not involved with UNION nursing until I moved to Mn. 18 years ago. I have always believed that professional nurses do not belong in a union. The behavior of MNA this year only reinforces those beliefs. Thanks for speaking up and letting the rest of us know we are not alone.


  32. Posted by Terribly Uneasy on June 29, 2010 at 7:00 am

    Crossing the picket line is said to be selfish? I care for Oncology patients and crossing the line for them is not selfish.
    The union pushing the proposal for the staffing ratios when the TCH have said NO- It is not proven to deliver safer care and the fines are extravagant is what? The union will make money on the large fines levied and that is self serving. They need to drop the staffing ratio proposal and negotiate those hospital take aways. Namely benefits for .4 and health insurance.
    I am so very tired of all of this. I went out on the one day. I was on the picket line. I was mixed then but I did it. It was 1 day (turned into 2 for me since I was not called back but I degress) Now it seems I am being asked to jump into a bottomless void. Someone said the longest strike was Oct 2002 to Nov 2007 in a Northern Michigan Hospital. Is that true?
    I have not resigned from the union yet. The letter is written and I will mail it before I cross.


    • Posted by drichmn on June 29, 2010 at 7:24 am

      Yes it is true. If you google, “longest nurses strike michigan” you’ll see all the stories about it.


  33. Posted by FSHRN on June 29, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Bonnie Martin is retired so even though she has great passion this whole strike really is not a factor for her. God bless you bonnie for all your years of great service.


    • Posted by conflictedRN on June 29, 2010 at 2:30 pm

      YES! Thank you Bonnie for your years of service and for paving the way for us newer nurses! The profession of nursing has changed and evolved over the years as healthcare has become more technologically advanced. Please remember that this is a blog for everyone to express their opinion without fear.


  34. Posted by a view on June 29, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    I can understand the sentiment for patient care. As a State employee supporting life critical infrastructure I had the same issue before the 2001 strike. The reality for us was the only tool we had was a strike, like any labor dispute. Otherwise it was accept managements terms unconditionally.
    If management won’t bargain, the are responsible for staffing during a strike.


  35. Posted by scared on June 30, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    I am in need of some support. I personally believe that the MNA is handling this entire situation all wrong. I do not think that now is the time to be greedy and strike when there are so many people without jobs. The MNA nurses say that its “all about patient care.” I say BS. If you are so worried about your patients than you should be happy we have replacement nurses to come in and take care of them. Instead we abuse and harass them. If you are so worried that these replacements are under qualified what does that say about your priorities? If you are truly worried about patient care and not money than you would stay and work.

    The hospital I work for (North) offered a very nice offer today. The MNA states that they were only given 45 minutes to accept it. And the point is? In my opinion that should have been an offer that went up for a vote. Why is the union making all the decisions for us? Democracy? I don’t think so! It is a dictatorship where a handful of nurses are making all the decisions without regard to its members. People need to remember that the union is working for US! We do not work for them!

    I could go on and on, obviously this is only the start to my opinion on things. The fact is I am someone who cares about the opinion of co-workers. I like to get along with people and I do not do well with confrontation. I worry about the consequences of crossing the line. In my heart I know that it is right to stand up for what I believe in, and ultimately think I will. I am looking for some moral support to help me get there. I feel that I am being bullied from all different directions when I head into work and I am tired of it. I even had an MNA representative approach me with a “sign up list” for when I want to picket. She stood there and waiting for me to sign up. Is that not some type of harassment? The list even included phone numbers of every nurse in the department. I told her that I did not know yet what I wanted to do and thankfully she left.

    I have not once ridiculed someone for their opinion and I expect the same respect. Thank you for your support!!


    • Posted by drichmn on July 1, 2010 at 12:02 am

      I did edit out the derogatory word used to refer to replacement nurses. I realize that you had it in quotes but I find that word so offensive that I changed it.


    • scared, I am sorry you are having a hard time…it is a difficult time for everyone and you are not alone! You have to decide what is best for you….and yes many of us agree that MNA is handling this poorly and are risking the patients and our jobs for whatever they feel they will accomplish. Make a decision you can live with and follow your heart…I don’t think it will steer you wrong.


  36. Posted by Maria on April 27, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Hibbing nurses who are considering crossing the picket line; Please follow your conscience and protect your patients. The predicament the union is putting you in is abhorrent and it is a decision that no nurse should ever have to face. If you do indeed make the choice to put your patients first, hold your head up high and be proud of yourself. The majority of reasonable people will applaud your integrity and with time your fellow co-workers who abandon their patients will respect you as well.


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