6/28: 10 day Strike Notice Countdown-Day 8

Share your thoughts, feelings, observations as we countdown toward a strike.

This topic is now read-only.

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197 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by AJL on June 28, 2010 at 12:57 am

    I know this is a contentious issue. I know this will probably piss some people off. Be that as it may, I must reprint this here. This is an excerpt from the Star Tribune discussing the Minnesota Nurses Association and their unrealistic demands of their employers. If you don’t know the subject (which I think is the case even for a lot of the union backers), the MNA wants the hospitals to implement strict nurse:patient staffing ratios that are absurdly illogical and will cost area hospitals $750 million over the life of the contract. Actually…to be honest, that’s more of a public relations issue. The real issues are that the union wants pay increases that are out of line with non-MNA hospital staff, 90% paid insurance coverage, and increased pension. What they won’t tell you is that at Methodist Hospital, for example, nurses are the ONLY staff that got raises in 2009, management and executives took pay cuts, and all salaried staff had to take 2 weeks of unpaid time off (realize that is the equivalent of a 4% pay CUT).

    Anyways, off my soapbox…here’s the excerpt. I can barely hold back my laughter at the last line while I type this:

    “Nursing labor organizations are divided. The American Nurses Association (ANA), a longer-established labor organization that the Minnesota union broke away from, does not support fixed staffing ratios. Instead, it seeks more flexible strategies that reflect the unique needs of a hospital unit and are easier to modify as conditions change… The Minnesota union dismisses the ANA approach, saying it’s merely an ‘intellectual approach’ to staffing.'”

    If you didn’t notice that last line, please re-read it: “The Minnesota union dismisses the ANA approach saying ‘it’s merely an intellectual approach to staffing.'”

    Now, what are some antonyms to intellectual? “foolish, ignorant, simple, stupid,” THAT is the union approach, right out of their representative’s mouth.

    • Posted by Anonymous on June 28, 2010 at 5:17 am

      I think the biggest thing in this whole dispute is that the unionized nurses want to keep the things within the contract that they have now. Sure 90% paid insurance coverage is not universal throughout professions, but we are also healthcare workers and are exposed to more things than the average person working in an office. Instead of blaming everything on the economy, I think we need to take a look at the profits the hospitals are making.
      I understand that fixed staffing ratios are somewhat unnecessary, but there needs to be some limit set. Non-union hospitals are overworked and quality of care is compromised when you have too many patients to care for. You can only be streched so thin until life threatening mistakes are made. Also no company deals with staffing on a whim. Who wants to be called 30 minutes prior to their shift and told not to come in or come in later. How do you support a family if work hours are not quaranteed or plan a life if they can call you at anytime to work or not work. There needs to be limits and compromise from both sides.

      • Posted by drichmn on June 28, 2010 at 6:42 am

        As a non-contract RN I am very curious as to where the belief comes from that we are so much more overworked, underpaid, and have so much worse benefits than you? I’m sorry to say this but that sounds like propaganda to me. Perhaps if you’re talking about Tennessee or Louisiana but then it’s not just nurses in those states who have bad working conditions. The Twin Cities has a national reputation for high quality care and a high standard of living.

        I honestly don’t think that the hospitals were offering terrible wages or substandard health care in their proposals. In fact they weren’t asking for concessions in that regard from what I read in the proposals. When MNA says they proposed what they did in that regard as a “bargaining chip” I believe they are saying they would agree to the hospitals proposal on those but only if the hospitals agree to fixed ratios and their demands about occupancy and hospital closure. And those are non-starters for the hospitals.

        It is clear from what NNU itself has said that they will not compromise on fixed ratios. And frankly, the data is just not there to support that demand. I wish that MNA nurses would read some of the links in the Blogroll to understand why there are others who don’t agree with fixed ratios. If there are some issues related to the acuity based staffing grids currently used, by all means, address those specific issues. But don’t throw them out for an unproven staffing method when the one currently in place works 97% of the time. How did I come up with that percentage? MN data on adverse outcomes says that 3% are attributed to staffing issues.

        I am sure there are some very legitimate issues that could be addressed related to staffing. In my opinion, the issues that MNA is digging in on are not included in that list.

        • Posted by Anonymous on June 28, 2010 at 5:51 pm

          The reason you have the wages and the benefits you do is because of the UNION!!! All non-unions hospitals need to stay competetive. THANK the union-don’t put them down.

          • Posted by drichmn on June 28, 2010 at 5:59 pm

            you seem to be under the impression that non union nurses have bad wages and benefits. That is a misconception.

          • Posted by wildfox on June 28, 2010 at 7:19 pm

            Non union hospitals give similar wages and benfits to their nurses or they would not be able to keep them employed. In fact my cousin works in ICU at non contract hospital and she makes more than a MNA contract nurse.

            • Posted by lovrush on June 28, 2010 at 11:29 pm

              Why is it that nurses in Minnesota are afraid to be paid a competitive wage? If they are worth what the market would bear – they would not need a union. It is simple supply and demand people. I believe that nurses have a unique body of knowledge and experience that takes a lot of time to instill. I do not believe that the MNA is giving those RNs any benefit at all that they would not otherwise get anyway without the union, because the market would pay it. In fact, most of the nurses let the hospitals know that they had excellent employee engagement and that they were happy with their job just a few months ago with recent employee engagement. Now, to read the FB blog, they are the most put-upon group of poor workers since children worked in the factories. It is amazing to see the overstatements on that blog. It is frustrating. But the union has “convinced” these “critical thinkers” into thinking that their employers are untruthful, lying, rich, money grubbers. How can any of them work for such institutions if that is the case. If I believed such rhetoric, I could not. They should take the courage of their convictions and work for some “better” company. Good luck to them.

          • Posted by Leyla on June 28, 2010 at 8:17 pm

            Odd, I’ve had excellent health and benefits in other companies prior to becoming a nurse. Somehow they offered those benefits without a union in place, or in place at similar companies.

        • Posted by Anonymous on June 28, 2010 at 10:24 pm

          You get paid well because of the union

        • Posted by akaGreta on June 28, 2010 at 10:36 pm

          It seems that, with the documented history of MNA’s attempts to advance staffing ratios, TCH has known this would be the time that MNA would mount a strong offensive move, either through negotiation or strike, to finally win on this central issue. Knowing this, the TCH have chosen to stand fast against this proposal from the onset of negotiations in March. Now, the MNA also knows and has known since March that there will be no give from TCH on fixed ratios. So, MNA knows that the only way to ram this thing through is via a strike action. TCH also knows this. So, the MNA has sold a strategy to its membership, insisting that the only way to win the cause in negotiations is to always maintain the threat of a strike, hence the encouragement to recently vote in an authorization to strike. So, after only one day back at the table, the MNA announces the open-ended strike–no big surprise to some of us. Now, as D-Day approaches, many of the members are more in shock each day–hoping there will be a last-minute agreement to avert this disaster. These members trusted that their vote was merely a threat, not a foregone decision by MNA. So now, MNA has the go-ahead vote, and they intend to use it, for there is no spirit of conciliation left in their leadership. It also seems that the only way a union can truly be destroyed is during their strongest show of force–during a strike action. This will be the only time when membership may actually break rank and run, and this is what TCH has hoped for all along. This is a classic battlefield strategy of stalling, of angering and provoking an enemy, only to draw them into a confrontation where they can be defeated. So, in the end, it will be the union leadership that destroys its union. If the MNA does go down in defeat, taking any chance of a contract with it, the TCH will not be to blame, for they have offered to build on the staffing language that has been in place all along–and this will be the tragedy of it all, that the MNA could actually have lived on to fight another day–they could have had a decent contract that would have improved staffing in weak areas, but we will never know how that would have played out. History always leaves us with haunting questions of “what if…. if only…..”

      • Posted by ANON on June 28, 2010 at 9:00 am

        First of all it’s against MNA contract to call RN’s thirty minutes prior to their shift to tell them not to report to work. Secondly, RN’s have the option to say “NO” to an LOA (leave of absence) if you choose. Only when mandatory LOA are given do RN’s not have the choice whether to come in or not. When mandatory LOA’s are given the staffing office must contact the RN by phone or in person to tell them of the mandatory LOA. Staffing cannot leave a message or a text, they must speak to the RN directly, also per MNA contract. Staffing must give the RN a four hour notice for a mandatory LOA. Vacation time may be used for compensation if the RN’s chooses. RN’s can only be given 4 mandatory LOA’s a year.

        Also what is not being talked about is the bonus pay that RN’s receive for coming in on their unscheduled weekend, or if the hospital is having a high census day and the need for additional staff is required to meet core census. Many times the reasons that RN’s do work short is because of ill calls or “family emergencies”. MNA contract allows an RN to call in sick, ill child, or family emergency no questions asked. And RN’s do call in ill or FE over and over again sometimes 2-3-4 times a month. Not all RN’s, but some (many) RN’s abuse ill time. I’ve never worked in an industry where ill time is so badly abused and nothing is done about it. Even given that the units rarely, if ever, work short. Critical care units NEVER work short.
        I’m not saying that ill time should be taken away or that people don’t get sick or family emergencies never occur because we all know they do. But 2-3-4 times a month? Work in the staffing office when the Vikings or Twins are in a play off or world series, or on Mothers Day or Easter which are unofficial holidays and note how much OT, bonuses or CNI shifts the hospital pays for. Or pay attention to how many RN’s suddenly get ill and have to go home when they arrive at work and find out they have to float. That shift now becomes an OT, CNI, or bonus shift and yes, it happens more times than you’d like to believe.

        I guess my point is that the MNA contract that serves the RN’s today is a hell of a good contract and not something I’d be willing to give up. I’d be happy to receive a 1000 dollar bonus for not calling in ill for a year. AND if I did call in sick 2-3-4 times in one month or when the Twins are in the world series, I’d be in BIG trouble, I’d probably loose my job.

        • Posted by Anonymous on June 28, 2010 at 1:15 pm

          You might want to recheck your facts on Mandatory Loa’s at my hospital you only need to be notified 2 hours and advance and it can be by voice mail.

          • Posted by lovrush on June 28, 2010 at 11:38 pm

            Not all of the contracts read the same. At our hospital, they allow for 3 Mandatories per year. But, you have to consider that mandatories and voluntary low needs are a way to preserve jobs rather than go through lay offs.

      • Anonymous. we are not arguing there needs to be compromise from both sides….we are arguing that striking is thought to be part of the solution.

        • Posted by Anonymous on June 28, 2010 at 11:16 am

          I disagree, striking is NOT part of the solution, no one wants to strike. The hospitals have backed us into a corner by saying they want our staffing proposals off the table. They aren’t even willing to discuss a modification. It is their way of the highway. So we are taking the highway.

          • Posted by Highwayman on June 28, 2010 at 2:45 pm

            So we’ll see you on the highway. Though last I heard driving onthe highway doesn’t pay much.

            • Posted by Anonymous on June 28, 2010 at 3:09 pm

              No it doesn’t, but we have much to lose if we don’t stick together on this.
              Take away all the money talk, I just want to go home after a shift feeling like I was able to take really good care of my people.

          • Posted by marygracern on June 28, 2010 at 3:15 pm

            Use your critical thinking skills….do you REALLY believe that the hospitals would back its greatest asset into a corner without being willing to find a compromise? Don’t you even wonder a little bit why THIS contract negotiation period has been soooooo different than in the past? Can’t you even remotely recognize the national agenda of NNU..MNAs NEW union association? MNA nurses are allowing themselves to be pawns and are NOT thinking….

            Have you seen any industry NOT change in the last few years? Take a flight anywhere recently? Try to refinance your mortgage? Have a kid in school? Buy gas for your car? Heat your home? Try to rent a video from a store? THINK!!
            Don’t know of too many dogs that bite the hand that feeds it! If MNA nurses continue to scream “unsafe” we may all be out of business!
            Efficiently run hospitals will keep us all working…safety does NOT have to be sacrificed for this to be accomplished, but greed does. Look around and use your critical thinking skills…we all have to give a little to get a lot.

      • Posted by Anonymous on June 28, 2010 at 10:31 am

        90% paid insurance coverage….and you make at least $15 more per hour than any other state! Yes, you are healthcare workers, and you are exposed to more things than most people. But what about the, for example, transport staff that transports patients in the hospitals? They are exposed to just as much as the RN’s, they make about 1/3 or 1/4th the wage, and pay anywhere from 4-5 times as much in insurance premiums. How do you see that as fair? This threat of a strike is completely and totally unethical, I guess in my opinon, the union is trying to scare the hospitals into caving to their demands, and scaring the the public into thinking that the hospitals are so careless that they grossly understaff, and under pay their employees. I used to be a union employee, and the best day of my working life was the day that I finally broke free from being under they reign of the union.

        • Posted by Anonymous on June 28, 2010 at 5:31 pm

          NO body said it was fair. I think anyone who deals with people when they are ill or injured should be paid equally well for it.

        • Posted by TiredNurse on June 28, 2010 at 7:56 pm

          The transport aids probably do not have Bachelors degrees or even Associate degrees and if they do, maybe they should find something more related to their education. Or be happy to have a job as many people are telling us nurses. The public tends to forget that nurses are well trained and well educated and continue to receive education on an annual basis. What about the IT people that are making 75k-85k a year to work with computers. No one seems to be ripping on their salaries or their benefits. Who care what nurses make. I can bet you would rather have a well educated nurse and a happy nurse take care of you

          • Posted by Anonymous on June 28, 2010 at 9:40 pm

            Nobody rips on the IT people “making 75k-85k a year to work with computers” because they aren’t planning a strike while asking for a 3 1/2% pay increase. Yes, nurses have degrees, but does that make them anymore deserving of 90% paid insurance coverage than the rest that don’t have a BSN or AN degree? What about the paramedics? The NA’s, Lab tech’s or even the housekeepers? All of these people are as essential as the next to keeping the hospital running as the next and if you don’t believe me, try working sometime when you have to swing a mop and empty your garbage cans as well as take care of your patients. A lot of nurses need to drop the elitist attitude. We are all people and we all have the same objective. Keeping our patients safe and doing what’s best for them. It doesn’t matter what job you do in the hospital, it all leads to the same objective.

      • Posted by Anonymous on June 28, 2010 at 11:11 am

        My fear if we don’t stand up for some sort of set staffing ratio is that it will become a free for all as far as number of patients administrative nursing support thinks we can handle in a shift. It is already like that on some days, when there have been so many turn around in patients that my head is spinning by 2 pm with all the things I still need to accomplish. Then you get harassed about overtime. Is it unsafe now? On some days yes, but not always. Do you fear for your patients now if there is a strike? I don’t think there is one nurse out there (pro or anti union) that isn’t worried about those that are ill during the strike period, please keep in mind that staffing ratios will help us care more effectively and safely and protect our licenses. As far as wages, everyone I know says 0% raise is okay, most people agree with the change in FTE for benefits. I pray everyday that our MNA reps are acting in good faith for all of us. I am willing to strike for patients because there have been too many days when I have gone home feeling like I was only able to accomplish the minimum for my patients. I DON’T LIKE IT, makes me feel like crap.

        • Posted by lovrush on June 28, 2010 at 11:47 pm

          You just stated that you do work based on staffing ratios. That is what a matrix is. When staff call in sick, and you are short an RN going into the next shift compared to what the matrix says that you need, how will the new “staffing ratio” change anything. The patients are already in the bed. Will you stay for mandatory Overtime? I can imagine that there would be more pressure from administrative supervisors to stay given that scenario. When shifts are busy, it is often when staff do not show up for a shift and everyone works short an RN or NA, rather than that the matrix is not good enough. And at our facility, charge RNs have the lattitude to increase staffing when the patient acuity is high. Yes, they want us to think about all of our options first, but in the end, management trusts those that they have in the charge RN role.

          • Posted by drichmn on June 28, 2010 at 11:56 pm

            you hit on an important point. Many times the reason that a shift may be short is because an RN called in sick. Now, we all know that happens and we all know that there are some who are chronic sick callers. They don’t seem to think about the patients or their co-workers then. And it has absolutely nothing to do with the staffing grids that are currently used.

      • Posted by RN on June 28, 2010 at 1:56 pm

        Yes, it’s makes most of us feel that way. But I think the days that are crazy busy need to be balanced with the days where there is a good amount of time to complete the work. Fixed ratios are a joke and nurses should never advocate for them..we want numbers based on acuity. When half the country is laid off and the other half has taken significant pay cuts just to remain employed, I think we need to be cautious about what we’re asking for, the union’s request are ridiculous! We want our hospitals to make money, that means we all make money. This strike will ultimately end up breaking the union, then where are we all going to be?

        • Posted by Anonymous on June 28, 2010 at 3:14 pm

          I agree acuity needs to part of the staffing proposal, I am not sure that it isn’t. One of the floors where I work have started using a rating system of 1-3 (3 being the most acute) to help the charge nurses balance assignments better. It seems to work, until 2 of your patients are discharged and you get in 2 new ones.

        • Posted by Anonymous on June 28, 2010 at 7:32 pm

          I wish more people were appreciative of his or her current job. It seems wrong to make these demands when so many people are laid off, looking for work, losing their homes, struggling to feed their families. I no longer work in a direct-patient care setting, but I do know what it is like. I can report that in my current job I have crazy days too, I bet all of us do. Today, I didn’t get a chance to eat or use the bathroom. When my system breaks, it affects the nurses, the doctors and the treatment choices for the patient. This is my “code blue.” Everything else gets dropped because of it – and my other work waits for me, just as your other patients wait for you. Does that mean my job is less valuable because I am not directly at the bedside with the patient?….NO it does not. What about the housekeeper who cleans the room, the dietitians bringing the patients food, the nursing assistants who run like crazy and break their backs? We are all “the heart of the hospital” and we are all important.

          • Posted by anonymous on June 28, 2010 at 9:52 pm

            I really hope both sides will truly negotiate tomorrow. I believe with more RNs on call , hopefully voluntarily and more resourse nurses in each hospital to call in the hospital, we could practice more safely. I think we could float to stations we have agreed we are trained for,limit # and how often. I hope the hospitals and MNA will try harder to prevent the strike. Start with issues we could agree upon.

            • Posted by goodnurse19 on June 28, 2010 at 10:15 pm

              I so agree with you. This is what we all want. Striking would be so bad for everyone, in the short and long runs. Staying at the bargaining table when all seems lost is the only way to solve this. Let’s hope and pray it happens.

        • Posted by lovrush on June 28, 2010 at 11:52 pm

          I agree with your statement. Even the physicians have had to take pay cuts in many instances and make choices about retirement benefits. The reason MNA is asking for everything that they are asking – is because they can – they do not have to make hard choices, they do not run anything. They do not answer to patients – their satisfaction is not MNA/ NNU’s concern. Does anyone really believe that hospital administrators want to create a staffing pattern and ratios that lead to unsafe patient care? They are held accountable for patient satisfaction, outcomes, every decision that is made is their accountability ultimately.

      • Posted by Anonymous on June 28, 2010 at 4:19 pm

        It is helpfu to attend the MNA meetings which is where they said the staffing ratio was a starting point in the negotiation which the hospitals have not engaged in.

        The concern I have about this blog is that some of the entries are hospital admininistrators.

        • this blog is for those of us who do not fee striking is part of the solution…..yes there are a couple hospital administrators who are retired and have offered advice which we appreciate.

        • Posted by drichmn on June 28, 2010 at 5:49 pm

          you should be aware of NNU’s stated position on fixed ratios. it is not that they are a “starting point” they in fact have said there will be “no compromise” on fixed ratios. The hospitals will not negotiate on fixed ratios that is true. There is no proof that fixed ratios have improved outcomes so they are not going to accept that staffing method and after doing the research I agree with them.

          I wouldn’t know who is a hospital administrator and who isn’t and I’m one of the blog editors. I do know that one commenter said he is a retired hospital administrator and I think that knowing all perspectives is actually a good thing.

          • Posted by concerned nurse on June 28, 2010 at 6:50 pm

            I didn’t realize that was their (NNU) stated position. When I talked to one of the MNA reps she used that exact phrase “starting point”. I went line by line on MNA’s proposal and my hospital’s proposal. MNA’s staffing ratios are not logical. While I obviously don’t agree with a recent broadcast that I heard, there does need to be different staffing for the different shifts, days, evenings and nights. Not only that, but acuity needs to be taken into consideration. I think both sides need to go to the table tomorrow and be reasonable. A strike is going to disrupt patient care, other hospital employees and make a lot of nurses lose out on their income. I do not want to strike, but I could not accept the contract that was proposed by my hospital. I am ok with not getting a raise, but I would lose 3 more days of pay (proposed mandates of 48 hrs, up from 3 shifts), my insurance would change and cost me at least $2500 more a year, and I would lose my longetivy bonus (after reaching the 15 yr step the next pay step is 20 years). The hospitals also took out the sentence in the current contract that states the schedule cannot be changed after it is posted, for mandatory low needs they want to decrease the time prior to the start of the shift to 1 1/2 hrs, they also stated “in the event the Hospital cancels the low need hours prior to the start of the shift or the nurse being relieved from work, the nurse is expected to report to or remain at work without credit toward the maximum low need hours.” So you are called at 5:25am, told you are mandated to stay home, then called at 6:55am and told you are expected to be at work.

        • Posted by WillyRN on June 28, 2010 at 9:32 pm

          “The concern I have about this blog is that some of the entries are hospital admininistrators.” ~ Anonymous

          I’ve seen this statement used on the MNA FB page and the news blog sites, to dismiss genuine concerns we all have about this impending strike.

          I am an RN who attended the MNA pre strike meeting and I must say it felt like nothing more that a “pep rally.” All the rhetoric was saddening as I felt the real issues were swept under the rug, by the union’s antics of getting the nurses worked up about how “management is trying to take things away from nurses.” When nurses at this meeting who were genuinely concerned about the financial consequenses of striking came up to the mike to ask questions, the union reps were very skilled at skirting the issues and not directly answering the questions.
          I went to this meeting with an open mind and left very sad and dissapointed by the politically games the union is playing. I also felt like the nurses are just pawns the union is using to achieve their political agenda. One of my coworkers who I carpooled with said after the meeting, “it’s sad when you feel like you can’t trust the people who you are paying to represent you.”

          That’s how I feel about the union … preying on the fear and political ignorance of its members. I fear the nurses, not to mention the auxillary staff, will be the ones left “holding the bag” when the dust clears on this issue.

          To the adminstrators of this blog … THANK YOU!!!! I definately don’t feel like the odd man out when I’m on this site. Makes all the bullying and harrassment almost worth it knowing that we are on the side of keeping our patients safe.

          • WillyRN, I agree the ramifications to other staff gives me a heavy heart. I also haven’t heard anyone came away from the all nurse meeting with thier questions answered. You are not the odd man out!

      • Posted by Anonymous on June 28, 2010 at 7:08 pm

        May I suggest that the anyone who thinks the strike is a good idea pick up a dictionary and look up a few terms: capital budget, operating budget, strategic planning, revenue, investment, return on investment

        Maybe the next time they see a hospital expanding, or a new computer system being installed, INSTEAD of handing out 6% pay increases, the nurses will better understand why.

        Maybe they should add a few business classes to the two year RN degree programs, so when new nurses step out of school making nearly $30/hour they will also have some basic business training.

        I am an RN who has worked contract and non-contract jobs. I no longer work in direct patient care, but my work does support nurses and the patients we serve. I will be proudly supporting my hospital system during the strike.

    • Posted by Anonymous on June 28, 2010 at 6:32 am

      You the respectable RN’ are being lead by the National union(in the name of MNA) to the sacrificial block. the national union wants to be the AFLCIO of the nurses.
      The hospitals can not afford what the union wants for you.
      Do not lose a good job and benefits you have.
      Defeat the union hidden agenda.
      Speak up for NO strike.
      Good luck.

    • Posted by Concerned public on June 28, 2010 at 3:03 pm

      The MNA nurses are not being lead by any one! This group of dedicated RN’s has approached staffing with the use of ratio’s and acuity to determine staffing long before joining the NNU. A bill sponsored by many MN lawmakers, encouraged by MNA and direct care providers to the Capital 3 yrs ago. MNA was told “bargain it in your employment contract”. That is what they are doing. It will not
      cost what is estimated by the employers. It will provide safe care.

      • Posted by drichmn on June 28, 2010 at 3:13 pm

        please read the information on the Blogroll links about the professional groups who oppose fixed ratios and why.

      • Posted by Anonymous on June 28, 2010 at 3:16 pm

        THANK YOU VERY MUCH , the hospitals have much to gain by not talking staffing.

        • Posted by drichmn on June 28, 2010 at 3:35 pm

          I respectfully disagree. The hospitals will not talk fixed staffing ratios because they are not proven to improve patient outcomes. Hospitals are focused on patient outcomes. Prove they work and I’d agree with you. As it stands, there is no proof that they work to improve outcomes nor is there any proof that staffing issues result in the majority of adverse outcomes. In fact, the data proves otherwise and MNA agreed with that in fall 2009 when they were a member of the expert group that MDH convened to look at staffing issues and patient outcomes. It’s the first link in the Blogroll.

          • Posted by RNretired on June 28, 2010 at 10:15 pm

            I am recently retired…..I spent the last 25 years of my careerer in L&D in the Allina system. I read the Ratio requirements for L&D and it really upsets me to think that the MNA is supporting a proposal that will require a nurse to care for 2 patients in the first stage of labor. Where is the additional nurse coming from to take your second patient when the first one goes complete. And how many times will patient number 2 be shifted down the line to another nurse. I am old enough to value quality of care, continuity of care and no-strike clauses in the contract. My heart breaks for you guys ………………………….

    • Posted by Anonymous on June 28, 2010 at 5:49 pm

      So while nursing staff claims to be doing this for the patient they are in turn taking out of thier own, the patients, and their support staff’s pockets. Where I work we are a non-profit………..out system uses this supposed “Extra money” we have and pours it back into the community (financial assistence for uninsured or under insured patients, hiring more doctors for specific areas that patients have to wait months for healthcare, buying safer and more up to date equiptment to expand better outcomes. Due to this strike other non-contract staff have been asked and or forced to take time off. Patient loads have been slimmed down to the NEED TO DO. Patients are more worried about the strike and how it is going to effect their care than what they are being seen for. What a great thing to make an already ill patient stress that they are going to be ok because our nurses walked because of…………well this is as nice as I can say it……..something that 95% of it looks like greed. Be greatful you have healthcare, be greatful you have a job, and be greatful that you have a pension plan…….(I had to take out from mine to make ends meet because of all this strike junk).
      So maybe the union and nurses need to open their eyes. THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO BE DOING THIS!!! (for you, your patients, and the staff that work with you).

      • Posted by Procedure Nurse on June 28, 2010 at 8:02 pm

        I agree the economy is a tuff time to strike, But one has to wonder why you are taking money out of your retirement plan? Living within one’s means is the prudent thing to do. Also nurses have had mandated leaves. So it is costing everyone in the hospital worker enviroment. I went through over 100 hours of vacation taking low need hours to help my departments budget in 2008- to present. I would have rather taken real time off instead. This issue is hurting everyone and nurses are not taking this issue lightly or with greed in thier intent. I work in a procedure area and do not have the staffing issues that the in- patient nursing have, yet I am asked to be part of this staffing issue. I too, feel caught in all this “strike junk”

    • Posted by wildfox on June 28, 2010 at 7:35 pm

      No, we are not.

  2. Posted by MNPharmGal on June 28, 2010 at 2:16 am

    One of my biggest issues with MNA is thinking that their members are “better” than the other staff at the hospitals. I am a contract employee (non-nursing), and was hired just after the continued pension plan was removed from our contract and converted over to a 403B. As a young, single person, I would prefer to take more responsibility with my retirement funding, rather than hope and pray something paid by my employer would still be there when I actually retire in 30+ years. I want control over where my money goes in my retirement fund, so the “doing away with” the pension is the best thing that could happen, in my mind.

    As far as MNA’s comments about the insurance plans – the rest of the hospital employees are on the hospital plan. I have no complaints, again, as a single person I pay nothing. No copay for my annual exams. Any of my prescriptions that are generics are free (if I fill them at my hospital’s community pharmacy, which is more convenient anyway). My dental insurance is pretty darn good. I have nothing to complain about there. Why shouldn’t everyone in the company have the same health plans? It makes no sense to me.

    I really wish things would be settled before a strike actually happens, but I’m not that naive. I am sick of hearing about things from MNA’s skewed perspective. I have a good friend who’s a nurse, with 2 young children, who plans to strike. It was tough to talk to her this weekend, without passing my judgement or my very opinionated thoughts popping into conversation. I’ve seen a change in her over the last 6 months, since the negotiation talks have been taking place. I keep my opinions to myself at work, as I share an office with someone who’s view is exactly the opposite of mine (she thinks we would be foolish to get out of the union, that we’d lose everything if we did).

    Again I’ll say it – to those who choose to cross the line and work — thank you. I will be there to support you, as much as I can. Thank you for thinking of what’s best for the patients, and for keeping your professionalism.

    • Anonymous, as long as you are respectful I will not delete your post. However, this is for those of us who do not support striking…I have not said all the proposals from either side are perfect. I do have to ask why you think just because many non-nursing personnel have had to pay alot out of pocket that the nurses should have better insurance than the rest? Why don’t we look at plans for everyone and spread the cost around. I do not want others paying more in premiums just so the nurses can pay less.

  3. Posted by Diane on June 28, 2010 at 6:34 am

    See you took down yesterday’s warning post and instead just delete anything that doesn’t further your cause.

    • Posted by drichmn on June 28, 2010 at 6:59 am

      The warning is in the “Announcements” in the sidebar. And I did just delete posts from individuals who repeatedly ignored the warning. And will do so again. I expect nurses and their supporters to treat each other with respect even if they have differing opinions on this issue. And I did not just delete / edit comments from those who support the strike but did so from those opposed to the strike as well.

    • Posted by drichmn on June 28, 2010 at 7:07 am

      BTW, I even deleted my own comment to Juli Uzlik because on re-reading it I thought I over-reacted.

    • Diane, our cause is to support each other as we face ridicule and threats to do what we feel we are meant to do….care for our patients. This site is not here to call anyone names or debate our beliefs with anyone. My beliefs are not up for debate….and you are free to have yours but if you are coming on this site to bad mouth us please feel free to go elsewhere.

      • Posted by Anonymous on June 28, 2010 at 10:49 am

        “our cause is to support each other as we face ridicule and threats to do what we feel we are meant to do….care for our patients. ”

        • Posted by drichmn on June 28, 2010 at 12:15 pm

          I have edited your several comments that were name calling in my opinion. Please feel free to express your views but leave out the name calling. Thank you.

          • Posted by Anonymous on June 28, 2010 at 3:19 pm

            We all feel a responsibility to our patients. Remember to all who cross that any and all that is gained or lost by your peers who walk the line, will benefit you too.
            There will naturally be hard feelings. Believe me there was in 1984 when I was a new nurse of 7 months.

      • Posted by MNChildrensNurse on June 28, 2010 at 6:36 pm

        We appreciate your opinions here, but we want them in a professional manner. This blog was started as a safe and welcoming place for all who feel that a strike is not the way to go. We respect anyone’s right to strike, and is all we ask is that you also respect our right not to strike.

  4. Posted by DGMRN on June 28, 2010 at 7:33 am

    BRAVO Keith Rischer in this morning’s Strib article! As a nurse working in one of the few non-contract hospitals left in the Twin Citiies, I applaud your commitment to patients and admire your gratitude in the face of these difficult economic times. Yes, gratitude…we have jobs! And good ones by in large. Keith nailed it when he reminded us that our commitment is to our patients, not the union. I am saddened to think of all the nurses who will be out of work because of the MNA’s ridiculous demands. Whenever the union has tried to get a hold in Regions, they are unsuccessful. I will continue to vote against them again and again. My heart is with you all…..

    • Posted by lotstolose on June 28, 2010 at 8:07 am

      I believe Keith said what a great many of us believe but are too intimidated to go agains the union for fear of reprisals

      • Posted by anonRN on June 28, 2010 at 10:38 am

        Can you post a link to this article?

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

        I have many friends who are nurses and want to cross the picket line but are truly scared from the intimidation from hospital MNA reps. They are threatening them and the nurses who would like to go to work want to avoid conflict. When it comes down to walking out the door and abandoning their jobs I feel some will change their minds and work for the sake of doing what is right, caring for our patients.

    • Posted by Anonymous on June 28, 2010 at 10:42 am

      Could not agree more! Way to go Keith!! And the fact that almost all the RN’s that were interviewed by the StarTrib wanted to remain anonymous due to the fear of retaliation for speaking their minds These unions are going to end up costing a lot of people their jobs, and the sadest part is, a good part of those jobs lost are going to be of people that have nothing to do with the union but who’s positions get cut due to having to find the money to pay their ridiculous raises. I work in the PN/Methodist system, and funny(not funny ha ha by the way) a good number of people, myself included, have not got a raise in 2 years……2 years!! But, every union employee in the system has not missed a beat and gotten a raise in the time when most others have not. And now you want more?!? You can talk about staffing levels all you want, and I’m sure that is a real issue in some places. But from my point of view, it’s not so much the staffing levels but there are also a lot of RN’s out there that think the NA’s are there to do their jobs for them, Where are the unions then? No, they won’t step in in that situation,

    • Posted by Anonymous on June 28, 2010 at 10:39 pm

      I completely agree. I so appreciate the integrity and dedication of those nurses who speak out so eloquently. It seems that at times MNA tends to lower themselves to the level of intimidation and name-calling rather than having a reasonable dialogue.

  5. Posted by rnbubbles04 on June 28, 2010 at 7:47 am

    For the past 5 years I have been working as a RN in Alabama where I was born and raised, with long family ties to the Dixie state, could never imagine leaving my home. I work at a prestigious hospital which can hold over a thousand beds total. We have several different specialized units, as well as an entire building for Neuro, Cardiac, Ortho, Women’s and Children Services and St. Judes. For a few months now I have been following the stories of the Minnesota strike as well as the California strike. We are not a union state, when it comes to healthcare, and though I absolutly LOVE some of the union causes for safer conditions, could never imagine walking out on my patients at ANY given time.

    My position is a RN in the Women’s and Children’s float pool. I work the Pediatric ER, Pediatric floor, PICU, St Judes, Neonatal ICU, Post Partum, well-baby nursery, and Women’s surgery. When I started my job as a nurse, straight out of college, my pay was $18.25 an hour. We get an extra $4 an hour for Holiday pay or if we work night shift. I accrue 1.5 hours of ‘ETO'(earned time off, which includes sick or vacation) per bi-weekly pay period. I have had one raise of 1% and two year-end bonuses which equal a little less than a thousand in the 5 years I have been employed. Our insurance has just increased to where I am having to pay, out of MY paycheck per bi-weekly, a little over $300 and the copay alone, just for a doctor’s office visit is $40. Rates have even increased with copay’s I have to make if I or any of my family has a procedure done at the hospital WHERE I WORK!!!

    It’s not uncommon for me to have a 5 to 1 patient to nurse ratio when I work Pediatrics, 3 to 1 in the Neonatal Unit (Progressive side and 2 to 1 on the Intensive), 2 to 1 in the PICU, 3 beds and 1 trauma bed when in the Peds ER, 5 to 1 on the Women’s Surgical floor, and 5 couplets (mother and baby…which equal to 10 PATIENTS) when working PP/Nursery. I would LOVE to have a fixed nurse to patient ratio…but am smart enough to realize that is impossible. RN’s do ALL their own blood draws (there is no such thing as a phlebotomist sticking a adolesant, child or infant) or any other procedures, and most of the time we do vitals because there is no tech, or there is only one tech covering a 30-40 bed floor, however there are SEVERAL who are just lazy and never around when you need their help. When working the NICU, I ALWAYS have a ‘drug’ baby and a couple of other babies who are PO feeders. RN’s do all their admissions, discharges, charting, making sure the patient receives their meal (especially if they are non-english speaking…which is about 60% of patient flow), respiratory does their job with patient treatments, surgical prep, etc. Wondering about patient safety?? That is a daily worry.

    The hospital I work at has a program called ‘RN Plus’ where you can increase your pay after a year of employment, but you only receive 72 hours PER YEAR of ETO, no pay raises, your benifit cost increases, and there is no retirement ‘matching’ what you invest. I joined the float pool staff that boosted my pay an extra 20% per hour, which I needed since I am married with 4 children…3 teenagers and an eight year old.

    Sounds depressing doesn’t it?? However, this is how it is in a lot of the hospitals in the South. I know the world is in an economic crises and feel VERY lucky to have a job. There are SO MANY new RN graduates who are having a hard time even finding a job. With that being said, I also know I am smart enough NOT to complain since I can be EASILY replaced. There are enough unemployed RN’s that would love to have my job. So as much as I complain to myself..and now in this blog, I must say I love my job!! I love taking care of kiddles anywhere from a 24-weeker all the way up to a mouthy teenager. I could NEVER imagine myself looking at a child who is receiving chemotherapy and trying to explain to him/her that I will not be back, since I will be marching in a picket line. I am POSITIVE most patients will not care or understand why I would be walking out on them or their safety. My patients are MY RESPONSIBILITY…something I agreed to when I graduated nursing school and took an oath of care and protection.

    Hats off to you nurses who will not leave your patients. Don’t get me wrong, I do understand some of the Union causes and am a little jealous that the hospital where I am employed cannot be up-to-par as the hospitals are in Minnesota, California, and several other states are now. HOWEVER, I believe currently y’all got a good thing going, and would be a little afraid to step on ‘bigger’ toes.

    Know what I mean??? 🙂

    • Posted by acsofs on June 28, 2010 at 10:50 am

      Thank you mbubbles for your detailed description of your RN responsibilities and compensation. Your experiences and perspective are important to hear, as we all consider the “big picture” side of the issues at hand.

    • Posted by Anonymous on June 28, 2010 at 10:59 am

      This is an excellent post! Thank you for putting the differences into perspective. Minnesota is not only “up to par”, they are far over par! They make more per hour than any other state, and pay far less in insurance than any other state. I mean, 90% paid insurance coverage!!!!!!! And they are still complaining!! I make $18/hr and pay 5 to 6 times what RN’s in the system I work in, pay. AND, I haven’t had a raise in 2 years…..2 years! Meanwhile every union employee has gotten at least a 3% raise in that same time period.

      • Posted by concerned nurse on June 28, 2010 at 7:31 pm

        I just looked on the Bureau of Labor Statistics from the United Stated Department of Labor (.gov not sponsored by anyone) and Minnesota ranks about 11th for average hourly wage. For about half of all states in the US, the average RN hourly wage is $30 or higher. I have read quite a few posts here listing MN nurses as making more money than any other state. Please check the facts first. I know I make good money as an RN, I have been doing this for 16 years. I also went to college, have to keep up my nursing license by taking continuing education, keep my certifications current, and take care of my patients the best I can. I am very thankful I work in Minnesota. I have read and heard stories of what nursing is like in other states and that is why I choose to live and work here. I agree with nostrikefor nurses and I hope we do not strike. Nurses need to be there for the patients. Both sides need to negotiate reasonably and rationally.

    • Posted by wildfox on June 28, 2010 at 7:44 pm

      Come to Minnesota to work I have a feeling there will be alot of jobs here soon. The cost of living is high here compared to where you live.

  6. Posted by Patty on June 28, 2010 at 8:25 am

    Over the weekend I attended a 50th birthday party for a friend, plus the graduation open house of my niece, and I was beset with dozens of questions at both events about the upcoming strike. One person, who works in rental management, was quick to express her support for the strike, based on information given to her by a nurse friend who plans to strike. Otherwise there was no support for a nursing strike from those at either gathering, in fact many expressed shock and horror that nurses would actually walk off the job. Among this disapproving majority of party-goers, the spectrum of educational backgrounds, jobs, professions, and socioeconomic status was wide-ranging. Many expressed fear of what will happen if they or a loved one would need hospital care during a nursing strike. Simply put, the public does not think well of us right now. A few identified themselves as members of other unions and said that even though their unions told them to support our strike, they personally do not.

    Today is the day that I will be resigning from the MNA. Strike or no strike, I will be working next week. And if it means that a strike comes to pass and I am hated and reviled and treated badly by co-workers who chose to strike, so be it. I love my job and would not want to find another, but if a post-strike work climate becomes unbearable, that is always an option.

    • Posted by drichmn on June 28, 2010 at 8:35 am

      it takes alot of courage to stand up to the slings and arrows from your nurse coworkers who support a strike. It’s unfortunate that the climate has become so toxic. This is harming patients and families. The blog got an email from one expressing dismay at the situation her husband is facing regarding long planned surgery. This is not putting patients first this is, as ‘anurse’ stated in the strib article, putting them in the middle.

    • Good for you! I know it is still a big decision but I think a little empowering to not follow the crowd and do what you feel is right.

    • Posted by lovenursing on June 28, 2010 at 11:49 am

      patti you will have my support, you voice all of my concerns. Ethically and morally I cant leave my patients! I also disagree with all the accusations that the union is making of the place that I work! I love where I work and have always felt that I have been treated well….

    • Posted by marygracern on June 28, 2010 at 3:32 pm

      Hang in there! You are not alone, yet many clearly don’t have the courage you do! Standing up for what you believe in is not easy but at least you can look yourself in the mirror and your patients in the face!
      I have loved being a nurse and have up until now been proud to say I was a nurse. It is who I am and not what I do. If patients really do come first then a strike/walk out is unconsionable. unprofessional.

      • Posted by Steaming on June 28, 2010 at 6:04 pm

        marygracern, I agree. Leaving patients is very unprofessional. Having to look yourself in the mirror will be the challenge the Nurses leaving face.
        How quickly a moment can change what side of the bed you view the person lying in the bed from. Imagine if the Nurses leaving or their loved ones need help during this strike. A very sad change of affairs.
        I hope they, the Nurses willing to walk away from their patients accept if they or their loved ones suffer as a result of this strike, that the price they may also face was ultimately worth it. God Bless any Nurse who will not walk away from their patients.

    • Posted by Anonymous on June 28, 2010 at 6:48 pm

      Good for you in believing in the oath you took when you became a nurse! I am no longer in a patient care position, but if I were still in the contract at my hospital I would be going to work along with you. I believe the striking nurses are holding our patients hostage and the patients should not be in the middle of this disagreement. I support our community and the patients we serve.

      I wonder if the nurses go back and read their blogs a year from now if they will realize how selfish and greedy they were.

  7. Posted by wildpitch on June 28, 2010 at 8:52 am

    I read about this blog in the paper this AM and all I can say is FINALLY! THANK YOU!!!

    • Posted by drichmn on June 28, 2010 at 9:00 am

      Thanks for stopping by. Please read the Announcements and refrain from name calling. I will ediit that out. We do not want to become another strib comment section.

      • Posted by wildpitch on June 28, 2010 at 9:15 am

        I work inside of one of the affected hospitals in a non-contract capacity (I won’t state which hospital, as there is much tension here). If there is anything that those of us who will be reporting for work can do just say so and I’ll see what we can do. Of course, all nurses who cross the picket line will be welcome.

    • You are welcome…..hope you find good information and support!

  8. Posted by notsureyet on June 28, 2010 at 9:10 am

    And the company has arrived! Keep reminding commenters that this is a support site for those who want to do what is moral and ethical in their nursing practice. Strikes hurt everyone so why do it? The union’s “bullying” tactics are not welcome where patients are involved. Take the threats away and see just how strong they are then. For the people who chose to walk the picket lines- hope your job is there when you finish making your point. I doubt it though. There has to be a better way to settle this other than putting thousands of nurses, patients and hospital staff in a personal war.

    • Posted by nomobforme on June 28, 2010 at 11:20 am

      The union leaders are supposed to be working for us but somehow they get many union members to work for them for free.

      If the union strikes on July 6, I WILL continue to work for the hospital. Not because I have to for economic reasons. I am doing it for moral reasons. I think the union is playing with many people’s lives without fear of what will happen to them and I don’t like that.

  9. Posted by wildpitch on June 28, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Time after time I see the advice to ‘know your history’ regarding what labor unions have brought to workers, and here I agree with them. But note that these things have been achieved through the process of collective bargaining and negotiating, and not actually striking. If one looks at the history of striking they will discover that things did indeed change, but never the way they were intended to.

  10. Posted by linkedoutsider on June 28, 2010 at 10:36 am

    “Right is right even if nobody is doing it. Wrong is wrong even if everybody is doing it.” St. Augustine

  11. Posted by proudtobeRN on June 28, 2010 at 10:41 am

    What concerns me is when I hear people say that Non-contract hospitals don’t have the same quality care as contract hospitals. Does anyone have any data to support this? I have been a RN for 21 years and have NEVER worked as a contract RN. I worked in wonderful hospitals with the exception of one which I left after 6 months because of the horrible quality of care.
    There was probably a time and place for unions, but now with all the federal labor laws I do not believe unions are necessary. I believe as a professional I can negotiate my own salary and if I don’t like the work environment I will go somewhere else, a free market makes employers competitive.
    I am happy to have this blog to be able to post my concerns. Other sites are so inflammatory that it is really hard to even read the comments.

    • Posted by mom1 on June 28, 2010 at 9:38 pm

      I understand you feel empowered to do your own bargaining. That said, the industry standard is and has been set by the contract RNs. They give you power whether or not your aware. I am unionized but prohibited by law from striking and I am very aware that we ride in on the coat-tails of the Twin Cities contracts.

  12. Posted by FrustratedRN on June 28, 2010 at 11:19 am

    I just want to THANK the nurse who started this blog!! I am a nurse at one of the hospitals where the strike will be taking place on July 6th. I have been so frustrated with MNA and these “negotiations”. It is so good to see that many other nurses see the proposal and behaviors of MNA as unreasonable and ridiculous. I am not alone. I also appreciate the links and information you provide about crossing the picket line. It is a very scary thing to think of crossing and changing my happy and enjoyable work environment into a hostile and unfriendly one. Still, I am considering it. I just can not stand out for the issues at hand. Your resources will help me make an informed decision. Thank you.

    • Posted by nomobforme on June 28, 2010 at 11:25 am

      I agree- thank you so much. Nice layout. Factual information. This site has helped me sort through my thoughts and make a decision that is right for me and my family.

      • Posted by drichmn on June 28, 2010 at 12:21 pm

        Appreciate your comments. I think it is important to make your decision as you are with factual information and with your family as the most important consideration. If it was me, I would ask myself first: ‘how will this affect my family’? I think that would help to cut through the emotion and ground the decision in reality.

    • Posted by Anonymous on June 28, 2010 at 6:53 pm

      Remember if you choose to cross you are doing what you were trained to do and what you are expected to do – caring for patients that need you. If your coworkers want to be “mad” at you for not playing with them, then prehaps you don’t need them as friends. That is gradeschool behavior and shouldn’t we expect more from people who claim they are professionals and want to be treated as such.

  13. Posted by gratefulcitizen on June 28, 2010 at 11:57 am

    To all the dedicated health care professionals: As a private citizen of this beautiful, progressive, relatively healthy state that I am proud to call home, I say THANK YOU! Thank you for doing your job, thank you for your courage to voice your thoughts and thank you for acting like professionals! I truly hope, for the good of all, the strike doesn’t happen.

  14. Posted by Anonymous on June 28, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    I work at one of the striking hospitals and have heard the rumor today that MNA is telling the nurses that it will be only a “one week strike”. Is this their way of getting the nurses to strike? Anyone else hear that rumor today?

    • Posted by nomobforme on June 28, 2010 at 1:06 pm

      I heard the hospitals are preparing for the worst and in their minds that is a 6-8 week strike. About a third of the people I have talked to on my unit will strike for a couple weeks but if things are not negotiated by then they will cross. Everyone has their limit to what they are willing to do. I feel since I don’t agree with this strike, why give the union leaders any of my work time. I would rather save up my money incase their are layoffs or unit closures after the strike. Another thing to consider for those who are going to wait and see how the first week or so goes, you might not be needed back right away so they might say you can come back, but it will be on their timeline not yours.

    • Posted by wildfox on June 28, 2010 at 7:48 pm

      No but I did hear from MNA hosp rep that MNA has the hospitals right where they want them?!?!?! I do not get that satement…I think MNA looks foolish.

    • Posted by Supportstaff on June 28, 2010 at 8:10 pm

      I haven’t heard the rumor, but have been told at work that they can pick when they return… And when they go back out to strike again.

    • Posted by Steaming on June 28, 2010 at 9:17 pm

      I was personally told to prepare for a VERY long strike. If each side believes a week after striking will bring the differences each side is fighting for closer…..probably NOT. If you Walk be prepared to be out, if you cross be prepared to work. We are facing the unknown and which ever side you are on…be prepared to support it regardless of what is asked of you. One will be asked to accept financial hardship and one will be asked to put crazy hours in. No one will be without hardship…some will have to make sacrifices to choose what their family can do based on finances and some will have to spend time with their families when they are available to, after they are exhausted from working. Be kind and open mined is all I can personally ask for.

  15. Posted by proudtobeRN on June 28, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Anonymous, didn’t everyone vote for a open ended strike? How can MNA just decide it will be one week? and can they even make that call, the hospital may have a say too. I don’t think there is any truth to that.

    • Posted by drichmn on June 28, 2010 at 12:51 pm

      Perhaps MNA is trying to provoke a lock-out so they can then turn around and blast the hospitals in the media.

    • Posted by Anonymous on June 28, 2010 at 2:30 pm

      It is my understanding we voted for “up to an open ended strike.” So it is up to MNA to call the length.

      • Posted by drichmn on June 28, 2010 at 2:36 pm

        what did MNA’s strike notice say? Have you seen the exact wording?

        • Posted by rndmcrzyktty on June 28, 2010 at 5:03 pm

          I don’t know about what the MNA turned into the hosptials but the hosptial I work at says that the MNA notified them that it was an open-ended strike, no end date provided. So from that there is the potential that it could go on for many weeks or even months. I really hope it doesn’t.

    • Posted by wildfox on June 28, 2010 at 7:49 pm

      I think MNA wants to boast about being the “biggest nurses strike in history”. The MNA reps keep saying that.

  16. Posted by acsofs on June 28, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Interesting development posted on MNA Facebook last night.

    KHA posted – “Email I recieved “I’m sure you are aware that the 10-day strike notice was given to Methodist today. The nurse’s union is planning to strike starting at 07 on Tuesday, July 6. Because of this impending strike, all staff may be asked to do sone things that may be uncomfortable but are necessary to achieve safe patien…t care during this open-ended strike. In the next 10 days, non-contract nurses from around Park Nicollet will be shadowing on the unit to observe our processes and care. My expectation isd that you will conduct yourselves in a professional manner, follong the PNHS Code of Conduct, in all interactions. I have attached the Code of Conduct brochure. Thank You.” This was from nurse manager.

    BBN posted – “I am a pt at a HealthEast Clinic at Woodwinds. And my rn there (love her to pieces) was telling me they may have to go to Joes and Johns. They aren’t contract and don’t want to lose their jobs. She doesn’t want to cross the line. I talked to her at last appt (day of strike vote). So I don’t know what will happen. She initiated the conversation and verbalized much support for what we are doing.”

    • Posted by drichmn on June 28, 2010 at 12:59 pm

      I suspect the hospitals who have contract and non-contract facilities would do the same.

  17. Posted by Annette on June 28, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    I was VERY happy to read the article in the Star & Trib today: Though outnumbered, some Twin Cities nurses resist call to strike, and on KSTP this a.m. that there were nurses speaking out (but wouldnt go on camera for fear of retaliation – sadly understood however).

    I have many friends and family that work as nurses and support staff for various hospitals in the area (i work in medical billing). Friday i recieved a phone call from an individual in a support position, in tears that she and many others could be laid off in order for the hospital to deal with the financial burden this strike will bring. MNA union is dragging everyone down in their fight – its beyond cruel!

    Please know that i am part of the general public speaking out to anyone who will listen that i support the nurses that do not agree with the union, and i support the nurses doing the hard work that the union nurses are walking away from (in the name of ‘patient safety’).

    The general public is on your side even if the union isnt – Take it to the moutain tops, and we will be behind you! I applaud your courage and honesty !!!

    • Posted by rndmcrzyktty on June 28, 2010 at 4:52 pm

      The reality is that some of the hospitals will be having layoffs regardless of the negotiations for the nurses contracts. They have been watching things for a long time, Medicare, Medicaid, the upcoming healthcare reform, the trends of the insurance payors, the rise in self pay accounts and accounts going to debt collections. They have been watching all of this and are trying to plan for a future, one where they can stay open and continue to care for patients. A lot of the hospitals have already been through a few rounds of layoffs a couple years ago, the trends are not good, you can expect more rounds of layoffs to come.

  18. Posted by anurse20 on June 28, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Wow day eight time is clicking by. I have my letter to resign all signed and ready I think I will wait until Friday to mail it. I work on the 6 and 7 both 12 hour day shifts. I wonder if there is a way to see how many people resign from MNA for this strike? Not that it matters but I wonder if it will be enough to make them take notice. My unit already have some that said they do not care if this settles or not they want out. I want to wait it out so that I can have a last minnute say if there is one.
    Are you nurses that are crossing going to tell your peers prior to strike day that you are crossing? I go back and forth with that and sometimes I feel it is better to put your cards on the table.
    THere is a six month clause with the bylaws being violated. Best thing we can do is shout it from the rooftops. This will sit in the back of peoples mind while on picket duty and make them think twice about the NNU. It is just so sad that it has come to this! Work called today and wanted me to come in extra for 4 hours to help catch up. I really did not want to face work yet. I work all weekend so I have pleanty of time to get used to my decision.

    • Posted by Tom on June 28, 2010 at 2:28 pm

      I hope that you and others will re-institute your membership after the potential strike has ended, anurse. I encourage you and the other dedicated, professional nurses who are displeased with the behavior of MNA to find some means to re-exert control over the MNA.
      It is obvious that the leadership is tone-deaf, adversarial and purely operating in its own self-interest. It also seems that the MNA has been co-opted by the NNU and may even have illegally severed its association with the ANA in the process.
      Somehow, there needs to be a “no-confidence” vote conducted for the current MNA leadership and a replacement of all MNA hospital reps. These people are unprofessional and not acting in your best interest.

      • Posted by drichmn on June 28, 2010 at 2:38 pm

        What’s you’re read on MNA nurses being told that the strike will last a week and that it’s up to MNA as to how long the strike lasts?

        • Posted by anurse20 on June 28, 2010 at 2:55 pm

          I went out in 2001 and it was the hospital that let us come back. This strike (imho) will last much longer then a week. My gut feeling 6-8 weeks.

        • Posted by Tom on June 28, 2010 at 3:00 pm

          I think MNA is sensing that its support is slipping away and solidarity with the strike is eroding. In order for a strike notice to be a viable threat, it has to be believable and sustainable.

          MNA has to be keenly aware that it is neither. I am sure they are already receiving letters of resignation from members and that it will be receiving more. I am sure MNA knows that a significant number of nurses intend to cross picket lines to fulfill their professional responsibility to their patients. I am sure they are also aware that many of the hospitals are actively interviewing current MNA members who wish to be hired as replacement staff even if they don’t plan on crossing picket lines at their current hospital.

          The first week of a strike is critical — problems surface quickly or they don’t surface at all and census begins increasing. The word gets out. So, of course, the MNA is desperately attempting to assure worried members that the strike will only be a week long.

          They have no way of knowing that but they are desperate and just trying to hold on until the next bargaining session in some vain hope that they can get out of the hole they have dug for themselves. They won’t.

          • Posted by anurse20 on June 28, 2010 at 3:21 pm

            I know in 2001 we had a cool off period for two weeks prior to negotiations starting back up.

          • Posted by wildfox on June 28, 2010 at 7:56 pm

            Tom,
            I think you are correct. MNA can’t afford to be losing union dues either! There finances are not good. When this nightmare is over MNA nurses need to oust the current MNA and vote in nurses like anurse and the caring nurses on this blog so they can set a agenda for real patient care issues.

            • Posted by goodnurse19 on June 28, 2010 at 8:01 pm

              MNA certainly doesn’t seem to have its members’ interests truly at heart.

      • Posted by nurse7 on June 28, 2010 at 5:03 pm

        Tom,

        If the union illegally moved away from ANA, I don’t understand why ANA didn’t fight for their membership. It would be interesting to hear a response ANA in what was going on at that time when MNA moved to NNU.

        NNU is a differenty type of union and I think the Mass. Nurses realizes this too. How does a union kick our ANA with only hundreds of votes casted with a membership of over 23,000. Nurses also wrote about a union vote for representatives at a Mass. hospital results were thrown out because it wasn’t who they wanted. Reading this website on facebook with comments about NNU is scary.

  19. Posted by justapatient on June 28, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    I’m not a nurse but I’ve always admired nurses and it saddens me to see how ugly the politics have become. I can’t bear to look at MNA’s page on Facebook anymore because of all the mud-slinging and the angry rhetoric. I would be frightened to be a patient right now – it’s hard to believe it wouldn’t filter down to patients and families when there’s such a contentious labor dispute boiling away in the background. Thanks for trying to keep the discussion factual and respectful. People have the right to have their opinions and not be demonized for them. Good luck, cuz I know you’ll need it.

  20. Posted by Terribly Uneasy on June 28, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    I too have my letter written to resign from the union. My plan is to mail it on Wed June 30th if negotiations fall apart tomorrow. I am off this WE but scheduled Mon 5th and Tues the 6th.
    Tell me more about the six month clause in the by-laws please.
    They talk about crossing the picket line at work. I have not told my co-workers yet that I am considering it. Why? Retaliation I suppose. We have some strong union supporters on our unit. If I am not with them I am against them. I do not support what the union pushes-staffing ratios. They will go to strike for that and I will not. Our staffing matrix is good now. They need to stop with the staffing ratio push. The hospitals won’t budge on it for good reason. It will not work.
    The lost wages in a strike is serious for me. Recovery would take years exspecially if the strike is long. I do not live extravigantly, I do not make $80 K a year either (that rumor is ridiculous). I have children. I can’t and won’t lose their home over this.
    I am a good nurse. I believe in what I do. I want to work.
    What to do?? Stuck in the middle of a nightmare. Wait it out another day I guess. Submitting a letter resigning from the union will have repercussions too. However, it looks like the lesser of two evils.

  21. Posted by S on June 28, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    I’m so afraid.

    • Posted by drichmn on June 28, 2010 at 2:35 pm

      We hare here to help. If you have questions please feel free to ask them.

    • Posted by anurse20 on June 28, 2010 at 2:44 pm

      Oh S your post made me just want to cry. This is so sad what this is doing to our working relationships and enviorment. What are you most afraid of? I would like to help.

    • Posted by wyzeguy on June 28, 2010 at 4:55 pm

      We will stick together S. If you cross on the 6th, understand that you will be welcomed inside the walls of where ever you work. You are not alone. As non contract ancilary staff I don’t know if I will have a job after this is over so I am scared too. Know that you are wanted, needed and will be supported by those of us caring for our patients.

  22. Posted by notsureyet on June 28, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    We are all too fearful to even think anymore! I too would rather risk my work relationships and conditions than to lose my home and be in financial ruins for a long time over this. Not to mention what will possibly happen to those patients! Crossing is both brave and dangerous but strength in numbers will help. Not even sure those striking nurses will be returning.

    • Posted by wildfox on June 28, 2010 at 7:59 pm

      Hopsitals could start using permanent replacement nurses if they choose. I do not know if they will but they can do it.

  23. Posted by Ghee on June 28, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    I am still confuse as to what the strike is about. For the non-contract RN just like the rest of the employee who haven’t had a raise in two years – this is seem unfair for Union RN to want more when the rest of us haven’t rec’d anything. Don’t we deserve something!

    • Posted by concerned nurse on June 28, 2010 at 7:44 pm

      My reason for initially voting no on the contract was the changes in language. The hospital wants to increase mandate from 3-6, increase cost of insurance, take away longevity bonus, change schedule after it’s been posted, mandate me to stay home but then be able to call me back in. I’m ok without a pay raise, but the current contract would decrease my income by at least $5000 a year.

      • Posted by drichmn on June 28, 2010 at 8:18 pm

        Which hospital proposal?

        • Posted by concerned nurse on June 28, 2010 at 9:24 pm

          From Allina, Mercy Hospital’s most recent proposal from May 12 that is posted on the AKN (allina knowlegde network).

  24. Posted by nostrikenurse on June 28, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    So, I am really worried about crossing the picket line – here are my issues. When MNA negotiates the return to work agreement and I am no longer a member in good standing will I be called back last? Also what are the implications to my nursing license while inside during the strike, do I have any protection at all?

    • Posted by zzzzzzx6 on June 28, 2010 at 7:40 pm

      nostrikenurse –

      Please explain your concern about your nursing license. I am not clear about your concern. Perhaps I can offer and opinion.

      Z

      • Posted by nostrikenurse on June 28, 2010 at 9:08 pm

        I heard in 1984 that a number of nurses who initially crossed the picket line and work inside only lasted a few days, they came out and joined the picket line and said that the conditions inside were unreal and they were worried about their licenses. They were worried that something serious would happen on their shift that was out of their control would be tied to them and their license and said it wasn’t worth crossing. If I am not trained in a particular area can I be asked to work in that area?

        • Posted by drichmn on June 28, 2010 at 9:12 pm

          heresay from 26 years ago isn’t reliable. Why would a hospital put an untrained nurse in a speciality area? There are standards of care that must be met for accreditation. A strike wouldn’t change that.

        • zzzzzzx6, you still have a voice even if MNA is not behind you…talk to your manager and speak up if/when you are there!

    • Posted by supportstaff on June 28, 2010 at 9:38 pm

      nostrikenurse > Check out the FAQ’s here. . . esp “FAQ MNA related” or go to the NLRB site for an outside source. . . sounds like your seniority is protected if you resign from voting.
      At our hospital, RNs who wished to cross for the 1 day were helped to do so in a discrete manner. There wasn’t an issue day of. . . but I can’t say if word got out down the road. I think whether you get to stay on your home turf would have to take whether your unit is open or not into account. The agency RNs know nursing but not the peculiarities of each hospital unit. I’m sure you’ll be extremely valuable if your unit’s open. . . especially if you have a lifestyle where you could take an odd shift.

  25. Posted by Stressed on June 28, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    My husband lost his job in January. I work .8 and luckily was able to pick up the health insurance for my family and work some extra shifts to make ends meet on a single-income. He got a contract position which will be up in October, but who knows when he’ll find something else. I think I am not alone in my predicament. I think there are many nurses out there who are the sole breadwinner and who are really worried about how a strike will affect their livelihood.

    There is something inherently wrong to me about abandoning my patients to walk a picket line, yet I am very concerned about crossing the picket line and dealing with the repercussions of work life after a strike. There are so many of my co-workers who are so pumped up about striking, and I have read some very hatred-filled comments posted on facebook about those who crossed during the one day strike. I’m not for the idea of striking, yet I’m not entirely sure I’d be willing to cross. I feel very stuck in the middle, and don’t feel like I have a voice in the matter. I voted NO for the open-ended strike, but clearly I was in the minority.

    I’m just feeling very stressed and distressed about the whole thing. I wish MNA and TCH would get over their egos and come to terms with something that would be acceptable for all. Why is this so hard?

  26. Posted by Anonymous on June 28, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Stressed,
    It is so hard because leaders on both sides have agendas and are entrenched. Really sorry for the difficulty you find yourself in, not an easy place to be.

  27. Posted by blessedRN on June 28, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    How are we to respond when people say things like this:

    I was a teacher in Canada.

    To make a story as short as possible, there was no leaving the union. I felt we were striking to make a political point and to influence non contract issues. I decided to go public and send letters to the editor which refuted some of the union claims. My point is that a person really has to self examine what is important to them before crossing the union. Your relationships will never be the same. Some people will privately support you. Some will agree that you have the right to have your own views even in public. You will be surprised by which people will fall into which camps. Some will never speak to you again. Even management will see you as a trouble maker when the strike is over. Is it worth it? Depends on you. Who are you? At the very least understand that you will always be a marked person in your profession. If possible you will need to get out of that hospital. In short, only about 6% of all people are really leaders who will do what they think is right no matter what “the group” thinks. Are you one of those? If not, go along with the group and pay that price.
    posted by ricky15 on Jun. 27, 10 at 10:42 PM

  28. Posted by Not A Union Fan RN on June 28, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Why was my comment deleted? I was sticking up for Keith Rischer!!!!

    • Posted by drichmn on June 28, 2010 at 5:54 pm

      I’d prefer to stay away from posting what other people may have said about Keith or anybody else on a different blog or FB or wherever. Thanks.

  29. Posted by Just want to do my job on June 28, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    When I became a nurse, I made a commitment to do no harm. Striking makes the patient suffer most, not the hospital. I am deeply saddened by this whole situation. It feels like nothing will ever be the same after this for those of us that have a passion for what we do.

  30. Posted by blessedRN on June 28, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    or how do we respond to things like this?

    If you decide to cross, you need to realize that most of your friendships will be lost, not changed or just negatively affected.

    I don’t say this to pile on, but to point out the basic point on which you’ll be differing from your co-workers: to vote to strike is to decide that taking action on behalf of the whole is the highest priority. The basic calculus by which one decides to cross is basically about reaching the point where you’ve decided to care more about yourself than about the group as a whole.

    It might feel to you like you are just trying to extract yourself from the situation. But whether you want to or not, your actions when you cross will directly undermine your co-workers. Regardless of how you see it, you would not be getting out of the conflict. You would simply be switching sides.

    • Posted by goodnurse19 on June 28, 2010 at 4:55 pm

      I edited out the name calling according to what is in the “announcements”

      • Posted by Not A Union Fan RN on June 28, 2010 at 5:20 pm

        what did I say that was “name calling”?

      • Posted by blessedRN on June 28, 2010 at 5:22 pm

        I meant to put quotes around all of that too. those aren’t my words. I’m against the strike. I’m just feeling stressed about relationships afterwards and wanting some encouragement in knowing how to respond when people talk like that.

    • Posted by anothernurse on June 28, 2010 at 8:44 pm

      You can always make new friends. Everyday, you have to look at yourself in the mirror.

    • Posted by nomobforme on June 28, 2010 at 9:24 pm

      It is not side-switching if one never wanted a strike to begin with.

      On a different note: I still don’t understand how people can think it is logical to think “I really don’t want to go on strike” and then vote to allow a strike. People have been brainwashed by the union reps or are not taking time to think and they have given union leaders power to play with the lives of their patients and families. Every nurse is an individual and every personal home situation is individual. No one will be impacted exactly the same by this strike if it happens. And all this chaos is brought to your life In the name of a contract which will be re-negotiated in 3 years.

      • Posted by An ANW RN on June 28, 2010 at 10:50 pm

        Having someone or some entity(the union) think for you is insulting. World History has certainly taught us that “group think” can be very dangerous. Always be wary whenever someone says “trust me on this”. Do you own due diligence ,separate fact from fiction and emotion and make up your own mind. Act as Professionals, not lemmings. Use your considerable critical thinking skills to come to a decision that is right for you, your conscience and your situation and act/vote accordingly.

        • Posted by goodnurse19 on June 28, 2010 at 10:58 pm

          Indeed! I am always leary of something when large numbers of people get on board.

        • Posted by WillyRN on June 28, 2010 at 11:27 pm

          I agree with your “trust me on this” comment.

          Just today I received an email from our union rep asking for people to sign up and help to make the strike go as smoothly as possible. Then she ended the letter with
          ” We are all in this together. We would appreciate anything that anyone can do. Thank you! Remember, we will be ok!”

          I find this insulting and two faced!!! Why would I put my trust in an organization that is not only putting my patients at risk, but my family since I would not be able to provide for them by walking a picket line.

          This whole thing makes me sick!

  31. Posted by notsureyet on June 28, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    nostrikefornurses: According to what people have said- and again I found nothing written but the people that crossed were tossed out when the MNA members returned they got their positions back first and others were called back later even some were laid off. If we resign from the union and cross, then we pay the price when and if everyone returns. Does anyone else know of any firm facts? I don’t know about your license, the union protects us and stands up for us now if something goes wrong but if we resign I am not sure. Help?

    • Posted by zzzzzzx6 on June 28, 2010 at 7:53 pm

      notsureyet –

      It is highly probable that MNA will insist that union nurses are to be hired back first. The issue will be negotiated with TCH. The result is unpredicatable, but it seems the hospitals would not view it as a non-starter. So, there is some risk.

    • Posted by nomobforme on June 28, 2010 at 9:40 pm

      What I understand, and I may be wrong, is that even as resigned members, we are under the same rules as everyone else in the union contract. That means “Seniority Rules” after the strike is over. The hospitals have to follow the contract that is negotiated for all RN’s. By crossing the line you are not saving your future job any more than a striking RN is. However, if you lose your job after the strike it will follow a more predictable layout and you will be eligible for unemployment.

  32. Posted by Anon on June 28, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    As an RN I worked over six years in a right to work state. Read that as NON-union. That hospital, a Level1 trauma center and it’s nurses provided the highest quality of care available. They remain a leader in the nation also. As nurses we had better benefits, better healthcare for ourselves and families and a far superior retirement plan than MNA nurses could ever imagine. In fact, those six years of service there have left me with a better pension than the over 10 years with MNA. Sure, my hourly rate of pay has been higher in the Twin Cities; but it is for the patient, that I am a nurse. There, the hospital was invested in me as a professional care giver, and I in return gave that to my patient. All the union has provided me here is a system where there is a disconnect between the employer and the employed. My MNA pension though welcome, I have no plans it will survive. They are underinvested, and in trouble, I’m concerned about the young nurses who will have to work so hard to support those who feel they are so entitled. Rank and file need to wake up smell the coffee, don’t be lambs lead to slaughter by the MNA. Be informed, learn all you can about retirement benefit plans at non- union hospitals, and be proud of your chosen profession. If it patient’s before profits, be there to care for the patients. Nobody profits in this situation except the union organizers and the lawyers.

  33. Posted by relaughter on June 28, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    I am so glad to have found this site. I discussed my plans to cross the picket line today with my manager and she sent me the link from the Trib’s article; which led me to here!
    I feel at home with each and every one of you have posted. I have been sickened for the past 2 months regarding the possibility of a strike. I can not do this ethically because ultimately what and who will be most affected are the patients and families. We can not abandon our patients, our livelihood, our calling to be professionals. I did not become a nurse to bitch and complain about the injustices of the units and powers that be but rather, because I want to care for people, reach out and provide comfort to those who are unable to care for themselves. Yes, there are days in which I get paid very well for the work I do; but then there are other days in which I don’t. But it all balances out. I happen to work for a manager who gets it and actually belonged to MNA once upon a time as a non-bargaining nurse.
    So, I will resign my membership–as a voting MNA member. Does this mean that I am still part of the bargaining unit but just don’t have voting rights. What are the other “benefits” of resigning other than having self-respect, professional pride and knowledge of doing the right thing. I will report to work next Tuesday. It’s a no brainer. I will provide care that reflects compassion, honesty and professional attitude. I am grateful to have worked so many years in this profession and will not be puppeted by a union that does not quite get what the real issues are….and members that are steadfast to the union do not realize the potential devastating effects that a strike could cause across the state. Start looking beyond MNA and look at the state as a whole. It will take years to restore already what damage has been done.
    Thanks for listening; because my voice is silent at work due to retaliation; at least I know I have you members.

    • Posted by MNChildrensNurse on June 28, 2010 at 7:17 pm

      Welcome!!! That is the beauty of this site!! don’t know where you work, but if it’s at Childrens, I will be right there with you!!!

      • Posted by relaughter on June 28, 2010 at 7:39 pm

        Yep I do….shhhhhhhhhhhh! 🙂

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

          YAY!!!!!!!!!! Come and find me the morning of the 6th. I am sure we will all be in one big room together at first. I so hope you are from my unit!!!! Just ask everybody if they are MNChildrensNurse from the blog.

          • Posted by goodnurse19 on June 28, 2010 at 10:31 pm

            Love your enthusiasm. You guys are awesome. Childrens is lucky to have you both!

  34. Posted by NursingStudent on June 28, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    I have to say, I really like these posts… I am a nursing student going into my second year. I will graduate next Spring and hope there are jobs after getting my license. I have to say, that I disagree with the nursing strike. I have read both sides, and the more I read, the more I disagree with the MNA. I have been in unions before and they didn’t do anything for me. If I were in a current nurse’s shoes, I would be crossing the picket line next Tuesday if it comes down to it. I would not be risking my family’s future for the agenda of a group of whom I didn’t agree with. I feel as though if you are crossing, you are being moral and not risking your patient’s safety. As far as some other concerns I have read about people and relationships within the workplace, I don’t go to work to meet friends. I go to work to do my job and be good at what I do (and I will be an excellent RN)! As long as in the end, you are happy with your decision, go with it!!! It is up to you, not someone else to make who you are! I will be curious to see how all of this turns out, just as everyone else.

  35. Posted by KAP79 on June 28, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    I’ve just found this website and I am so thankful for it. I am not a nurse, but I work in health care and the idea of this strike happening leaves a pit in my stomach. 😦 I truly fear that I will lose my job, along with many other non-union, non-nursing employees. To prepare for June 10th, our department cut our FTE by 50%. I can only imagine what will happen with this one. Worrying about the very real possibility of lay-offs, I can’t help but feel angry towards those that have opted to support the MNA’s tactics and strike. I have worked along side many wonderful, caring, competent nurses in a non-union environment for many years and I have a deep appreciation for what they do. This being my first exposure to the pro-union nurses, it has left a bad taste in my mouth for what those who are striking really seem to stand for. I really don’t mean to offend anyone on this board when I say this – but it is so hard to not be angry and judgemental against these specific people when I am being forced to dangle my job and financial security in front of the wolves.

  36. Posted by Former MNA nurse on June 28, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    Thanks to the current nurses under contract with MNA who have enough courage to stand up for their convictions! I have been around a little while, long enough to have been through the 1984 Minnesota nursing strike. I voted against the strike and resigned my MNA membership and worked. In those days there was no discount for not being a member, you just did not have voting rights. I worked in labor and delivery and the patients were definitely negatively affected. At that time, moms were usually staying in 3-4 days after delivery and they were leaving (crying) within 12-24 hours. I remember all the stress of the strike and the aftermath and hard feelings. It took a long time to get over.
    I feel so badly for the patients again and am thinking about how I can help out by working at one of the hospitals using my background. Problem is that I have a nursing job and would only be able to work weekends. The recruiting agencies have a requirement of a minimum time investment of 7-9 days up front. Is anyone aware of hospitals using local nurses who may only be able to work 2 shifts per week?

  37. Posted by innocentbystander on June 28, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    I am not sure where to post this, but I read the article in the Strib and wanted to let you all know how much I appreciate your thoughtfulness and professionalism. I have been so disgusted watching this whole situation unfold, and you have literally restored my faith in the nursing profession. YOU are the nurses I want caring for me and my family members. Forget green dots– you deserve gold stars.

    • Posted by drichmn on June 28, 2010 at 8:55 pm

      Thank you for your kind words. We greatly appreciate them.

    • Posted by goodnurse19 on June 28, 2010 at 8:56 pm

      Thank you. We want respect to be the hallmark of this blog.

    • Posted by MNChildrensNurse on June 28, 2010 at 10:33 pm

      Thank you so much!!! You just made me cry!! You have no idea how much those words mean right now. Thank you for taking the time to come and give us all this ray of sunshine!!

  38. Posted by nurse on June 28, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    I want to thank you and commend you for standing up for what you believe in. I am a non-union nurse (APN) at a union hospital and see the negative side of the potential strike on the rest of the staff and patients. Those of us non-union make less $ to union nurses with equivilant experience and degrees and pay higher insurance premiums. Many have gone without raises and have had to cut our hours. I wonder if MNA is thinking about how this will effect the non-union staff, especially those without degrees or the ability to easily find a different job. The strike will likely result in mandatory time off for staff who can’t afford to do so. I also wonder what the effects of the fixed staffing ratios would be on support staff, it is likely the RNs role would expand to include aspects of the CNAs or others job. In the end resulting in layoffs. I am not proud to say I am a nurse right now and hope this negative opinion by many can be fixed.

  39. Posted by sadrn1 on June 28, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    As a non-contract RN at one of the Twin City hospitals on June 10th I cannot tell you how incredibly proud I was of the nurses I know who crossed. It brought tears to my eyes and I could not believe how courageous and amazing those nurses were. And some truly surprised me in the best possible way. For all of you considering crossing and for those who have decided to cross, what you will do in the coming weeks is so very special.

    I am not far from the bedside but I know I would have fallen to pieces on that day and the days ahead if it wasn’t for all of you. While I can do work hard with the best of them- I know I cannot be everywhere I could possibly need to be. This is why I appreciate all of you so much. Those of us who are clinical non-contract RNs will proudly work beside you to care for our patients. We will do amazing things in the coming days. I have never been so proud to be a nurse as I was on June 10th and I know July 6th and beyond will remind me even more of the special individuals who are nurses. Remember those moments no matter what.

    And to those who choose not to cross- I will greatly respect your decision as it is such an incredibly difficult decision to make. Only one person can know what is best for you- and that is you. No matter what happens- rest assured we will care for your patients so that you can do what you need to do for you.

    • Posted by drichmn on June 28, 2010 at 9:13 pm

      beautifully said. Thank you.

    • Sadrn1, thank you so much for being so non-judgmental…I wish everyone could share your attitude.

    • Posted by MNChildrensNurse on June 28, 2010 at 10:36 pm

      Thank you so much Sadrn1. This outpouring of support means so much right now. I am sitting here in tears reading these posts. You have no idea how your words have touched me!!

  40. Posted by Ian Wolfe on June 28, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    There are non MNA nurses (new grad in this case) that support you. I think the proposals by the MNA would ruin nursing instead of strengthen it in the coming health care reform.

  41. Posted by AlyKate on June 28, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    I am not a nurse, but I work at Allina and I see the terrible stress and hurt so many people are feeling from this strike. I just want to say how refreshing it is to read all of your comments – and to see that there are so many wonderful nurses that are able and willing to offer their incredible compassion, knowledge, and strength through all of this. As you come to work on July 6th, you will be supported by masses of patients and coworkers that share your passion for healthcare. Thank you for the sacrifices you’re making – your independence is appreciated and respected.

  42. Posted by otherhospitalemployee on June 28, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    It is SO refreshing to see this blog. I am a non direct patient care hospital employee who is relieved to know there are so many nurses out there who share a logical, reasonable, reality based viewpoint with me. It is so disgusting the tactics MNA is using and so sad that they seem to continue to get away with it. I support you, and urge you, to continue bonding together and standing up for your beliefs, for what is right and to be the ones who are actually showing their devotion to patient safety. This is about what is fair and right for everyone – the nurses, the patients, the families, the other hospital employees, everyone. While the other hospital employees affected by this are respecting the situation and keeping thoughts to ourselves, it has the unfortunate consequence of us not having a voice. In the end the pension/wages/benefits items on the table are not just about the nurses either – if the union gets what they’re asking for it will, although it may be indirectly, affect (negatively) the other hosptial employees wages, pension, and benefits. My impression is the union is selfish and hypocrticial and abusing use of the term patient safety – which is the one thing we all agree on and are committed to. Please continue to expose the truth and spread it widely.

  43. Posted by Methodist Hospital Employee on June 28, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    I am not taking any sides here but I am an employee of Methodist Hospital. I am not on the clinical side but the business side. Please, please do not strike!! I had to take a 2 week furlough and no pay increase due to the financial health of Methodist last year.

    Being in management, I know for a fact that myself, including all employees will have to either take additional furlough days this year, loose some co-workers, or both if the strike goes for very long. This is what I am hearing from confidential HR sources.

    It makes me sick that there are employees (co-workers) of mine that dont care about any of this and voted to strike.

    If the hospital does accept their offer and hires more nurses, then again, I know for a fact based on our financials which I see every month, will cause us to lay off more staff.

    We have been thought enough as employees. I dont want to see anymore staff, co-workers, peers, etc loose their job over this.

    Thanks for listening!

  44. Posted by Anonymous on June 28, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    not sure what the last two responses were too, they make no sense to the context…
    wildfox at 7:35 and nsfn just now…really not clear which person responding to, if responding to anony when there are several may be helpful to indicate the “time” so folks no who responding to if not posted in direct response.

  45. Posted by Anonymous on June 28, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    eh that reply above shoulda been below

  46. Posted by cgeeek on June 29, 2010 at 12:15 am

    I work in IT at one of the TCH’s. We have been told that “If the Nurse’s get a raise, we don’t get our bonus’s” Is this true? My family was really counting on that bonus for our vacation.

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