Thoughts on the one-day strike

Share your thoughts, feelings, observations about the 6/10 strike.

6/25.  There will be new blog topics posted daily for the 10 strike notice countdown and for the open-ended strike when it begins.

This topic is now read-only.


54 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by drichmn on June 21, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    From Strib: “According to a posting on the union’s Facebook page Thursday night, 84 percent of the nurses voting cast ballots in favor of the extended strike.”

    • Posted by wildfox on June 21, 2010 at 11:24 pm

      You did a wonderful job with the blog! We are going to need it in the coming weeks. Thank you!

      • Posted by drichmn on June 21, 2010 at 11:32 pm

        thank you. I’m a little bit of a computer geek. My children and family call me when they have computer questions. I’ve never done a blog before though. I just comment on them.

        • Posted by Serenity on June 23, 2010 at 4:47 pm

          I was on Facebook and deactivated my account because of all the negativism and such hatred being spewed! I worked on my unit this past weekend and it was the first time I had been on the unit since I crossed. I worked with a float nurse who use to be a regular nurse on my unit. We have a very honest relationship and I asked her if everyone knew that I crossed and she said “Yes”. She asked me why and I wasn’t completely honest with her, I said I couldn’t afford it financially and that I love being a nurse and taking care of patients. What I neglected to say for fear of rejection was that I think that it is awful that negotiations have not taken place, that the give and take in any relationship, including a business relationship hadn’t taken place and that I believe that the staffing problem needs to be dealt with creative ideas that keep our patients safe. I have always felt that if I have had a tough assignment, which I have frequently that there are resources available to ask for help and I have never felt like I have put a patient in danger. The primary responsibility in patient care is the NURSE!! who needs to ask for as much help as she needs. I have always felt supported by me leader and have gone to that person when needed.

          Thank you for this wonderful web site-blog and for hearing my thoughts!!

          • Posted by drichmn on June 23, 2010 at 4:55 pm

            welcome. we’re glad you found us and shared your thoughts.Sorry to hear about your facebook experience. Feel free to comment in any of the blog post topics. Check out the links in the Blogroll and feel free to share the information with others.

          • Posted by Angie on June 23, 2010 at 5:51 pm

            Thanks so much for joining the forum and sharing your thoughts/experiences. I agree with your post and just know..there are more of us out there than we think. And I hate that we should be made to feel “guilty” for crossing..I would feel worse standing in the street waving a sign, yelling in a bullhorn That being said, everyone needs to make their own choices, I am just so grateful there is a place to come and support/share ideas with each other.

            • Posted by Your Awesome on June 23, 2010 at 9:59 pm

              I think those of you that crossed are extremly brave and you are the true advocates for standing up for what you believe. I am a non-contract nurse and was there on June 10th. I was truely sadden to find out what is happening to you after the fact. I think it is wonderful that this site was created and you have resources to take action against harrasment that occurs at work and at home. Again you are awesome for standing up for what you believe in. I have worked in in the contract and on the floor, this is not the MNA I knew and behavior I witnessed on June 10th from MNA nurses was truely disappointing.

  2. Posted by wildfox on June 21, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    So MNA says 84% of nurses voted to strike? It would be much more credible if they had an outside agency tally up the votes. Looks like we all will be putting in longggg hours soon … get some rest.

    • Posted by drichmn on June 21, 2010 at 11:23 pm

      looks like we posted that at the same time. It’s a sad day for MN nurses, hospitals, and patients.

      • Posted by Anonymous on June 22, 2010 at 12:15 am


        • Posted by drichmn on June 22, 2010 at 12:17 am

          “historic” is not always in a good way.

        • Posted by drichmn on June 22, 2010 at 12:20 am

          I removed your post that was disrespectful. That will not be tolerated on this blog. Differing opinions are fine but no name calling.

        • Posted by integritynurse on June 22, 2010 at 9:05 am

          historically rediculous…and sad

          • I am very saddened by the vote….but we will continue to support each other and prepare to cross the line and care for our patients!

            • Posted by leadbyexample on June 22, 2010 at 9:13 pm

              Yes, nostrikefornurses, we will support each other. We managed the 24 hour strike and we will manage what ever comes next. Thank you to the nurses who crossed then, and to those who are preparing to cross in the future. I am also thankful for the temporary nurses who continue to be so unfairly ridiculed. This is a wonderful blog….thank you for starting it. I’ve followed the blogs on the strib but never had the courage to join in. I am overjoyed to see posts by wildfox, drichmn, and tom (tpbrady)!

            • Posted by drichmn on June 22, 2010 at 9:24 pm

              Thanks for stopping by and for commenting. Please feel free to share your thoughts and feelings in any of the blog post topics. And feel free to pass our information along.

  3. Just received an e-mail from our rep and it said ” Twin Cities nurses voted OVERWHELMINGLY to authorize their bargaining team to call a strike if needed.” Will we get any number on this by hospital or just be kept in the dark about the actual breakdown of the vote as in the last vote? Don’t we have a right to know the numbers? From everyone I have talked to, I find if diificult to believe it was “overwhelming”…but then I think I knew the outcome before either of these votes took place. Know what I am talking about?

    • Posted by wildfox on June 21, 2010 at 11:26 pm

      We should ask MNA to give us vote totals for each hospital. I guess if you want something from them you will not get it, they have control issues and always say it “plays into their strategy”.

    • Posted by wildfox on June 21, 2010 at 11:27 pm

      They counted votes days ago!

    • Posted by drichmn on June 21, 2010 at 11:34 pm

      from the strib article the 84% they got was down from 90% from the first one.

    • Posted by Anonymous on June 22, 2010 at 12:04 am

      It was definitely overwhelming, and for all of us just observing, seemed to take forever-actually only about 90 min. For those of you so concerned about accurate counts…where were you?? You could of stood with all the other watchers.

    • Posted by Anonymous on June 22, 2010 at 4:50 pm

      It is interesting that it took them 90 minutes to count this vote and only a few minutes for the June 10th strike…something is a bit fishy!!

    • Posted by wildfox on June 22, 2010 at 5:27 pm

      Per MNA website, 8,200 members voted.

      Abbott Northwestern-Phillips Eye Institute: 88 percent
      Children’s Hospitals: 86 percent
      Fairview Hospitals: 86 percent
      HealthEast Hospitals: 88 percent
      Mercy Hospital: 85 percent
      Methodist Hospital: 86 percent
      North Memorial Hospital: 89 percent
      United Hospital: 90 percent
      Unity Hospital: 81 percent

      • Posted by Tom on June 22, 2010 at 5:33 pm

        Pretty tight “shot pattern” there. Of all those results, I am most surprised about Children’s Hospitals results. If the pivotal issue is staffing levels, I would have expected less than 86 percent support for a strike from their nurses.

        • Posted by drichmn on June 22, 2010 at 5:49 pm

          Tom, go take a look at Wildfox’s last post in the Q&A topic. What are your thoughts?

          • Something I would like to know….why can’t we vote by phone like we did 3 yrs ago? Would that increase the number of votes? Tom, I continue to be amazed that the nurses at Children’s can think our staffing is unsafe….I continue to voice it is the best I have or will ever see. We have won many awards for safety.

  4. Posted by Boynurse on June 21, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    As I was putting the ballot in the box, they asked me to unfold it. This made it really easy for them to see how I voted. That was a bit uncomfortable. Am I the only one that felt intimidated by this?

    • Posted by wildfox on June 22, 2010 at 12:01 am

      They probably tore it up. They are crazy. They were telling everyone “vote yes”.

    • Posted by Anonymous on June 22, 2010 at 12:08 am

      They told me that too-and no I wasnt intimidated, or paranoid at all. When you saw two people for each hospital sorting thru hundreds of ballots for each hospital, it really did save some time.

  5. Posted by acsofs on June 21, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    “From everyone I have talked to, I find if diificult to believe it was “overwhelming”…but then I think I knew the outcome before either of these votes took place. Know what I am talking about?”

    My prediction was they’d come out with another “strength” number of around 85%. They had to come down from 90% beause it was an open-ended proposal, but also didn’t want the vote to seem close to the minimum of 66%. Gee, I’m so not amazed at the vote tally!!

  6. Posted by Tom on June 21, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    I posted the following comment on the “Hello Nurses” thread in response to a comment by “Anonymous” but it probably belongs under this heading. I think it includes some very important factors to consider as we all watch this process unfold. In many ways, history is repeating itself.

    I was “inside the hospital” in 1984, too . . . as an administrator (dirty word, I know!). Ironically, the MNA did much to change patient care in 1984 as it is deceifully claiming it intends to do in 2010.

    That change, however, was an “unintended consequence”. Reduced capacity in the hospitals in 1984 did, in fact, create incentives to (1) reduce length of stay for OB patients (aided and abetted by local HMOs); (2) hastened acceptance of non- or minimally-invasive treatment approaches; and (3) accelerated the movement of what were traditional hospital-based services to alternative settings such as surgi-centers, dialysis centers and imaging centers. After the contract was settled, census and volume never really returned to pre-strike levels.

    The second “unintended consequence” was the consolidation of hospitals into fewer “systems”. The ensuing four years after the 1984 strike saw the closure of MMC, the creation of Health East and the emergence of Allina as Health Central and HealthOne combined.

    Thirdly, the effects of the 1984 strike created resentment, friction between nurses and other hospital professionals and mistrust that have always lingered beneath the surface and have re-emerged in full force again today with the MNA’s manipulation and emotional tactics.

    Sadly, MNA has manipulated its members into the very same position as of today’s strike authorization vote. More “unintended consequences” will follow and no one will win. The MNA has adopted a decidedly untenable, unworkable, unfounded and ill-advised stance regarding rigid nurse-patient ratios. The negotiations will reach an impasse if the MNA persists in pushing this agenda. The hospitals will not negotiate on what is an essential and necessary management perogative such as staffing and internal operating procedures regarding diversions, closure to new admissions, etc. I sadly expect that there will be a strike if MNA does not relent on this wedge issue.

    • Posted by Anonymous on June 22, 2010 at 12:38 pm

      Your reply is a much clearer picture of what I witness in the years after the 1984 strike regarding patient care and length of stay. Other hospitals who closed include Mount Sinai which became part of MMC and Eitel. I was sorry to see these wondeful hospitals disappear.

      It seem soon after the strike, HMOs took a lead with patient admissions, patient length of stay and DRGs also came into play. I remember sitting with an uncomfortable ill patient in a clinic who needed to be admitted and waiting for an authorization from a HMO. It took what seem to be an hour to get an OK and the clinic physician could do no more then I was doing while I waited on the phone with some HMO representative. It was a sad day in health care when a physician was not the person who decided a patient needed admission.

      If I had to look at how patient care has changed, I believe the HMO’s/insurances companies who makes the decisions on reimbursements, govenors and state legislators who decides reimbursement for Medicaid and Medicare patients; have a large impact in how care is delivered today. Add a difficult economy where patients who do not have insurance due to job loss, makes for a diffiucult environment for health care delivery. Perhaps health care reform will change this, but at this time, no one knows for sure.

  7. Posted by Lovenursing on June 22, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    Thank heavens for the voices of reason. This strike, orchestrated by labor unions and NNU will set nursing back years. For the first time in 30 years- I am ashamed of nursing. Your voices bring sanity back. Thank you for your respectful, logical, and rationale thoughts.

    • Posted by drichmn on June 22, 2010 at 7:56 pm

      Thank you for stopping by. Please spread the word and feel free to participate and check out the links on the Blogroll.

    • Posted by wildfox on June 22, 2010 at 8:03 pm

      Welcome to the land of sanity. We look forward to your questions, ideas and thoughts.

    • Posted by quiltmom on June 23, 2010 at 4:39 am

      I heartily agree – this blog is a breath of fresh air and reason. I wondered if I had lost my sanity. This mob mentality is setting the profession back by 30 years. By reading the blogs, I am again proud that there are professionals who do not succumb to the heated emotion that MNA is spewing forth.

  8. Posted by drichmn on June 22, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    I’m reposting this from the Hello Nurses thread:

    Posted by relievedRN on June 22, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    First of all, I am no longer feeling like the “odd nurse out”. Thank you for the forum for rational discussion. Secondly, I thought I would share the length of time I was out of work for the “one day strike”…18 days. This is due to understandable hospital planning in decreasing the patient census and closing of units accordingly. So, for those who believe an open ended strike will be short lived please know that the ramifications are different depending on where you work. I reluctantly was on strike June 10th as I followed my beliefs regarding the importance of union representation for workers. MNA’s lack of professionalism and fear mongering have challenged these beliefs. I also believe that the MNA’s seeming unwillingness to truly negotiate as well as it’s manipulation of it’s members is unprofessional and embarrassing. I love being a nurse and am very saddened by the hit the nursing profession is taking due to the actions of the union leaders and followers. Scary times…

    • Posted by wildfox on June 22, 2010 at 9:42 pm

      Welcome ! Let it be known that every day more and more nurses feel the same way you do. We look forward to hearing your questions, thoughts and ideas. Invite your peers if they need NO strike support. The nursing profession will not be scared due to committed nurses like you and the others on this blog.

      • Posted by quiltmom on June 23, 2010 at 4:42 am

        Amen!! I wish we could organize into a professional group that opposes MNA’s tactics. I don’t know what the legal ramifications of this would be. We have been bullied by the people we pay to represent us. Has MNA ever asked us what we want?

        • Posted by anotherview on June 23, 2010 at 6:00 am

          I think this blog is a good place to start. I would be great to see all of you form a supportive group that would challenge MNA to handle things differently. In some hospitals, members have actually decertified their union when the numbers became strong enough. While I think decertification would be tough to do with MNA, I think a group could become strong enough to get them to back off on some of their tactics. The NLRB website may have informaiton about decertifying or trying to get your union – remember it is YOUR union. Without you, they are nothing. Anyway, another concern is that I heard on this AM news that they will be issuing the 10 day notice to hospitals today – that’s one day before the next negotiation day! So much for their statement about not issuing a notice as long as negotiations are progressing. Thanks again for all you do.

          • I do agree that we need to find a better way to do things. It does not have to be a nurses vs management atmosphere. We are all in this to care for the patients. As we move forward we need to brainstorm on what we can do to change this.

  9. Posted by Angie on June 22, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    Thanks much to Wildfox and drichmn for “crunching the numbers”. Amazing how it changes the perspective…spoke with several colleagues today re the results. Some did voice hesitation and lack of respect for the “mob mentality”. The unit I work on has many pro union staff members. Thanks to the support and information I receive here, I honestly shared my true feelings with several colleagues and stated I planned to cross in the event of the strike. ( I had always just been quiet) It may not have been what they wanted to hear, but they were respectful and expressed fears of their own. Continue to share this blog with all you know who may be interested, a lot of nurses share our point of view and more are out there, I know it. Rock on:)

    • Posted by drichmn on June 22, 2010 at 10:47 pm

      Thanks Angie. Glad to hear you are feeling empowered by the information and support. Intimidation and harassment is unacceptable whether an employer, a union, or a coworker engages in it. Please let us know if you have any questions about crossing.

      • Posted by acsofs on June 22, 2010 at 11:27 pm

        I had to use round about ways to get into this website at work because otherwise it was blocked. I’m going to see if our IT dept will unblock it for those who may want to visit while on break at work. If they can’t I’ll talk with my manager – maybe she could help.

    • Angie….I am so pleased this site has been so helpful to so many. To think it was only going to be a small chat room and 4 days later this site has gotten over 10,000 views! Must be a need that we are fulfiling!

  10. Posted by integritynurse on June 23, 2010 at 12:49 am

    Just got home from work tonite, and there were at least 6 or 7 nurses on my shift who say will cross the line. I am feeling better because there is strength in numbers (or is the saying “misery loves company”?) Well whatever the case, I feel encouraged. I just pray that the bargaining will begin and that it will be worthwhile. No one really wants this strike, although there are a few nurses who look like they are actually enjoying what is going on – you know the high fiving and the pep rally syndrome. One of our units has actually formed a support group for those nurses who will strike. I think someone is a mechanic, (you know, if you need your car fixed) ; somebody else is forming a food sharing co-op of sorts and on and on… whatever. Anyway, all those in favor of crossing, stay strong and stay focused. We’re gonna get through this!

    • I agree there is strength and power as more nurses share their distaste for a strike. As far as the support group…I would rather they do that than utilize a food shelf…which was a suggestion for surviving a strike.

  11. In regards to the talk of decertification, it is extremely difficult. It has been done once in MN. That was by Hazelden in Center City which is not a large group to try to unite. They realized within a year of the MNA coming in that the MNA was not what they wanted for their nurses (Wise group of nurses in my opinion).My friend led the charge and the MNA was nasty! When they made the decision to take this challenge on, the MNA told them they couldn’t do that–it had never been done in there history! Well, guess what–little Hazelden accomplished the feat and it was HISTORIC (where have we heard that? LOL) But it was not easy and I could tell you stories…

  12. If we go onto a strike I think we need to start looking at options to see what we can do. We may not be able to stop this strike but we can bring about a change to our future and the future of the nurses who will follow us. Thanks for sharing ths story….it gives us hope!

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