Posted June 29, 2010 by drichmn in Strike. Tagged: MN Nurses, Nursing Strike. 175 Comments
Share your thoughts, feelings, observations as we countdown toward a strike.
This topic is now read-only.
Posted by MNChildrensNurse on June 29, 2010 at 12:36 am
I have a wonderful little devotional book that I have kept close by my side for the last couple of years. No matter what is going on in my life I can open this little book, and the pages open to a reading that is meaningful. I thought over these last days before the strike, and into the early days of the strike, I would share a reading from it each day as we countdown. The book is called “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young.
It is a Christian book, but I am not trying to “preach” and I do not mean to offend anyone. If the reading is meaningful to you, then carry it close in your heart for the day. I just offer these readings to any who want them. My ffaith is mine, and I understand that your faith is yours. I just want to help us find peace and strength in the days ahead.
The reading I opened to for today is this:
“Rest with Me a while. You have journeyed up a steep, rugged path in recent days. The way ahead is shrouded in uncertainty. Look neither behind you nor before you. Instead, focus your attention on me, your constant Companion. Trust that I will equip you fully for whatever awaits you on your journey.
I designed time to be a protection for you. You couldn’t bear to see all your life at once. Though I am unlimited by time, it is in the present moment that I meet you. Refresh yourself in My company, breathing deep draughts of My Presence. The highest level of trust is to enjoy Me moment by moment. I am with you, watching over you wherever you go.”
I hope we can all find some moments of peace in this day.
Posted by goodnurse19 on June 29, 2010 at 12:45 am
Thank you for that wonderful passage. I am sure that many of us will draw wisdom and comfort from it.
Posted by drichmn on June 29, 2010 at 12:46 am
I think that is a wonderful idea. And the reading is very prophetic for the days ahead. Thank you so much for sharing it and I know I will look forward to the new reading each day.
Posted by Anonymous on June 29, 2010 at 1:10 am
MN, nice little reading.
Here is one thing I struggle with as a Christian. The bible gives clear direction to do whatever we do to the Glory of God. That we are to respect “our masters” even if they are not worthy of respect. Yet, the mindset of some seems to be to ask God to bless decisions and make things go the way we want in our own little kingdoms. Just misses the truth of Gospel at many levels. And not saying this to preach, but just really gives me pause to pray. As I right this, just feel overwhelming grief for where people are, for the anger, the pain, the bitterness. The focus on self from all sides. I am priveledged to work and share my skills to help others as I do. I do not agree with everything but am grateful for being able to work. What is about to happen will come with cost that impacts many and many will be hurt. I think this is what bothers me. I do not like what I see from either side in terms of agendas that ultimately hurts the rest of us. Ulitmately I do my job and regardless of where folks stand will treat them with professional respect.
Posted by MNChildrensNurse on June 29, 2010 at 1:23 am
We can only be responsible for our actions, thoughts, words and deeds. We can be certainly be sad for what is happening. But what others do, I have learned is always beyond our control. I can only account for the decisions I make and the actions I present. At work, I continue to be open and accepting of all of my coworkers, some of whom I feel very close to, and I try very hard to not even engage in conversation about what is happening. I am going to work this week with an attitude of keeping my focus and my heart on my patients, and staying calm so that our families can feel that peace that I feel about my choices.
Posted by Anonymous on June 29, 2010 at 1:31 am
absolutely. Personally, without revealing too much on who I am, I am a person who has gifts of empathy and can feel and take on emotions of others, as I did in writing the above post. And yes, we are all responsible for ourselves, but how we interact and deal with others is seen. It is tempting to complain about the “striking” nurses just as much as the “hosptial administration” or what we are “unhappy with” in choices of others. I know at times I stray from where my heart is out of frustration. There is a range of emotions around all this but at the center is pain and grief from all sides.
Posted by Concerned RN on June 29, 2010 at 11:55 am
Thank you so much for sharing this.
Posted by lisanurse on June 29, 2010 at 2:40 pm
I am committed to striking and I also have the book “Jesus Speaks” to refer to everyday.
Jesus was vilified too as the hospitals are portraying the nurses. We were much respected until they used the media and this contract for their own gains and greed. I believe these quotes pertain to the justice and compassion we are striving for.
Posted by nostrikefornurses on June 29, 2010 at 3:01 pm
I also do not believe that God expects us to have blind faith. I think the nurses themselves continue to damage our profession and reputation…we don’t need the hospitals to do that for us.
Posted by Anonymous on June 29, 2010 at 6:37 pm
Wow! That is fantastic. I am not a nurse but an employee of one of the TCH. That is an absolutely fantastic message to share. Thank you so much. That made coming to this side worthwhile today no matter what else. And I find this site very refreshing. Everyone seems to remember we are all people who care.
Posted by Angie on June 29, 2010 at 9:18 pm
Thank you! That is absolutely wonderful!!
Posted by cgeeek on June 29, 2010 at 12:38 am
I’m going to ask this again, since yesterday disappeared. I work for the IT department at one of the TCH affected Hospitals. We were told that “If the Nurses’s get a wage increase, we don’t get our bonus this year.” Anyone know if this is true? My family was planning on that bonus money for a vacation.
Posted by drichmn on June 29, 2010 at 12:49 am
I don’t think any of us can answer that question. I would encourage you to talk to your HR dept.
Posted by anotherview on June 29, 2010 at 5:21 am
I don’t know where you work but I caution any employee against planning on a bonus. Just because it happens a year or two or several does not guarantee it every year. And, i would surmise that there is not a direct correlation between what the nurses get and the bonuses. Hospitals are pretty careful not to let one group directly affect the others realizing that all employees contribute to the goals of the organization. I would more likely think that a hospital would not give bonuses because, in general, revenues are tanking and they foresee less reimbursement.
Posted by Voice of Reason on June 29, 2010 at 3:54 pm
Don’t you think that it is a little leading that someone would come in to this site, ad state that they are expecting a bonus? This is an underhanded attempt by someone to try to get you to bite at more lip service. The nurses on this site should be praised for standing up to the status quo! I applaud your dignity that you share with one another and respect given to others. My only concern is that others will be infiltrating your blog for the purposes of negativity and propaganda. Heed these words, and continue with the work you are doing. Besides, talks of bonuses no are as futile now. We should all be thankful to have what we have, and thinking of the ones that have not! Focus on the task at hand!
Posted by goodnurse19 on June 29, 2010 at 4:02 pm
We are aware that certain people are coming on to the blog and saying things that are a little off the beaten track. We don’t mind dissenting opinions as long as everyone is respectful. I do agree with you that bonuses may be iffy in this economy.
Posted by Anonymous on June 29, 2010 at 5:37 pm
It is hard to feel sorry for someone who might not get to go on vacation when I can barely afford to feed my children…………..sorry.
Posted by WhyIsItSo hard on June 29, 2010 at 6:22 pm
I am not sure who you are or what your purpose is, I work in IT at one of the companies dealing with the strike, I have friends at most of the other TCH’s IT departments. IT no longer gets bonuses – it gets no pay raises and sometimes no lay off’s. Switched to 401K with no matching contributions a few years ago, no sick time, just time off, vacation gets less if you are sick. As far as I can tell you are a troll.
I would like that the MNA not insist on mandatory ratios or my job might be on the line again
Posted by Steaming on June 29, 2010 at 6:48 pm
I was personally told…expect to work, expect it to feel like hard work, expect it to feel personally gratifying and expect it to come without a bonus, OT etc. Expect it to come with the feelings that” encourage you to set your alarm and get up everyday, to show up and do your personal best” If you get up, for a bonus, family vacation etc. maybe in today’s economy you should re-word what your contribution to ” the family vacation/bonus is”.
Not trying to be mean just saying that the global economy has had to adjust what ever it is we have previously deemed as a “BONUS”. Health care is a bonus, vacation/sick time is a bonus, tuition reimbursement is a bonus, lights on when you show up for work is truly a bonus in the economy.
Gently re-adjust and your family vacation expectations will gently re-adjust as well. Good Luck with the process, we have all had to re-enter reality in 2010 at some point and although it is hard…it is reality.
Posted by jean on June 29, 2010 at 8:33 pm
I’m certain that you are disappointed about your bonus and subsequent vacation. Here’s a little perspective for you. As a non-contract employee of one of the TCH, our department was told, if the nurses strike our department will enforce a pay freeze and we will be required to reduce our FTE (aka staff) in the fall. Since the nurses did indeed strike, my future is tenuous. Please be aware that we are all suffering because of the actions of MNA and that the loss of a bonus, although sad, is survivable.
Posted by Anonymous on June 29, 2010 at 9:31 pm
I am from a RN from another state and very intrigued by this whole process. In my state we are not unionized. I am glad to see that there are a group of nurses that care about there patients enough not to strike. I wasn’t aware how much negative effect this strike would have on other departments in the hospital. I wonder if the MNA is aware of that. So many families and lives can be effected by this in such a detrimental way. I wonder how long this strike will really last? Are the nurses that are striking able to use their Paid time off time to participate?? Were there any patient deaths in the last strike. I view this as unfortunate and a bit selfish and immature for the MNA to take the stance they have taken. My heart goes out to the patients who may be effected by this.
Posted by fshnurse on June 29, 2010 at 12:48 am
First off, thanks to the organizers and contributors to this blog. I appreciate the exchange of ideas and information that is happening here. I have read much of the postings and the question that I have is, if we all resign from the union as it is being recommended we do, at what point or per centage is the union not functioning any longer? Although I do not agree with the recommendations of this contract negotiation thus far, I don’t want to be part of a vote that removes union influence from my hospital. Over the long run, it has done more good than harm in protecting employees. Is the push to get us to resign or face “consequences” thinly veiled union busting? We are definitely getting a strong messge from our HR department to resign if we plan to cross.
Posted by cgeeek on June 29, 2010 at 12:52 am
I think TCH doesn’t like Unions.
Posted by drichmn on June 29, 2010 at 12:59 am
Please don’t engage in idle speculation.
Posted by drichmn on June 29, 2010 at 12:58 am
The decision rests with you. There is no “push to resign” on this blog. We are only attempting to answer questions and that one has been asked a great deal from the day the blog started. Many people fear union retaliation and the discipline that union reps have talked about if they cross. If individuals want to avoid that then the recommendation is to resign if they plan to cross. Providing information that is asked about doesn’t mean that people are being encouraged. Providing information and support is what this blog is all about.
Posted by MNChildrensNurse on June 29, 2010 at 1:16 am
I talked yesterday with a lady from the National Right to Work Defense foundation. She is a paralegal, and the NRTW is a foundation that devotes itself to union issues and making sure employee rights are not violated by unions. They are not in anyway affiliated with the hospitals. They are based in Virginia.
She did highly recommend to me that if I plan to cross, which I do, that I resign from the MNA so that they cannot take discipline or fine me. She said this needs to be done no later than midnight before the day one plans to cross. She said that fines could be matched penny for penny of what one earns during a strike, but if you resign for the length of the strike, they cannot fine us or seek any other recourse against us.
She was very helpful, and is willing to answer any questions, so please feel free to call the NRTW and talk with them about your concerns. Their is a link on the home page of this blog to their site. Their phone numbers are at the bottom of their home page. Their entire website is also very helpful.
After the strike, those who chose to do so may rejoin the MNA.
Hope this information helps! 🙂
Posted by nostrikefornurses on June 29, 2010 at 8:52 am
thank you for that information.
Posted by Happy to be on June 29, 2010 at 4:30 pm
Thanks for this site. It’s a breath of fresh air!!
I’m writing to share something I read in Allina’s communication today – I hadn’t seen this before, so I wanted to call it out for people to make sure that if you resign from the union, that your employer is still withdrawing the “fair share” dues. I expect the union will not be one bit forgiving on any mixups where this is concerned.
“Failure to have those dues deducted from your paycheck means the union has the right to call for your termination.”
2. If I resign, do I still need to pay dues to the union?
Yes. Even if you are not a union member, you are still required to pay fair share dues as a member of the bargaining unit. Union fair share dues are typically a bit less than union member dues, although MNA rules would govern this issue. If you resign, it is very important that you verify that the fair share dues for the union are deducted from your paycheck. Failure to have those dues deducted from your paycheck means the union has the right to call for your termination. To ensure the fair share dues are deducted, call the HR Service Center at 612-262-4688 to notify them that you have withdrawn from the union and that they should ensure the fair share dues will be withdrawn from your paycheck.
Posted by nostrikefornurses on June 29, 2010 at 5:11 pm
From what I understand our employer deducts under the direction of MNA….so they do as they are told from MNA.
Posted by Mel on June 29, 2010 at 5:53 pm
In my experience, when I was on FMLA leave, the union sent a bill less than a week after dues were supposed to be taken out.
Posted by Anonymous on June 29, 2010 at 11:47 pm
I wouldn’t trust that the union will go out of its way to ensure there are no mix-ups. I can see them making an example out of someone who chooses to resign and using it as a scare tactic.
Posted by sillygoose on June 29, 2010 at 4:52 pm
Wondering if anyone knows what happens to our hard earned seniority/pension if we resign from MNA during the strike and then rejoin after this disaster is over. No matter the answer, really…I’m standing strong and hoping others follow me across the line. Just curious…
Posted by nostrikefornurses on June 29, 2010 at 5:05 pm
Your pension is not affected either way..I have confirmed it with HR, MNA, and the pension administrator. You continue to accrue as well….no worries! YOu will also keep your seniority.
Posted by Leyla on June 29, 2010 at 8:51 am
Resigning from membership will not bust or decertify the union. When you resign, you become a “non-member” or “fair-share” member. You are still obligated to pay an agency fee to the union (roughly $10 less than full membership), which is determined to be the amount necessary for MNA to run the contract. The contract between MNA and the hospital still applies to you, and MNA is still obligated to represent you in matters of disciplinary action or grievances. Basically, resigning takes away funds used in MNA political activities, and prevents MNA from reprimanding (and potentially charging fines to) the members who cross.
In order to remove the MNA, 30% of individuals represented by the MNA would have to petition and call for a vote. MNA members and fair-shares would then have to vote to remove MNA as the representative union.
Posted by nostrikefornurses on June 29, 2010 at 10:52 am
I think any changes will have to take place after some of the dust settles…I would rather see changes made instead of removing the union…as someone said if you don’t like the process then work to change it.
Posted by sillygoose on June 29, 2010 at 4:54 pm
Let’s start a petition now. The sooner the better.
Posted by WhyIsItSo hard on June 29, 2010 at 6:38 pm
So if you resign from the union, and become a fair share member you can still participate in a vote to deceritfy the union?
Posted by nostrikefornurses on June 29, 2010 at 8:57 am
fshnurse, I do not have any intention of removing the union from our hospital. I think the union has done some good things for our profession, but they are heading in the wrong direction with their proposals and that I cannot support. Something needs to be changed…maybe we need to look at our affiliation with NNU.
Posted by Voice of Reason on June 29, 2010 at 3:57 pm
I couldn’t agree more. Something is very fishy about that whole group! Well stated!
Posted by Anonymous on June 29, 2010 at 1:14 am
you archiving or deleting the previous days countdowns, because there are useful aspects of the conversation in some of those thread?
Posted by Anonymous on June 29, 2010 at 2:45 am
Probably deleting. They don’t want any opinions other than theirs. And here I thought these people were better than MNA.
Posted by MNChildrensNurse on June 29, 2010 at 3:00 am
I am sure they have not been deleted. drichmn will be on in the morning and will explain where they are at and how to find them.
Posted by anotherview on June 29, 2010 at 5:27 am
I see lots of varied opinions here. It is respectful and all are welcome. There seem to be a lot of voice against the strike but that is because the website was created for those whose voice was silenced on the MNA blog. I am sure some of this blog gets a little unwieldy.
Posted by rndmcrzyktty on June 29, 2010 at 5:24 pm
some threads get a little long but it really is a nice peaceful place to come and talk and share info and to ask questions. People are respectful here. It is so nice to come here as opposed to other sites. I just wish I could access it while I’m at work.
Posted by drichmn on June 29, 2010 at 7:11 am
Comments are not deleted for having differing views, they are only deleted if they don’t follow the blog rules. I do not want to see this blog turn into the kind of comments seen on the Star Tribune website.
Posted by Voice of Reason on June 29, 2010 at 4:00 pm
Or other sites……..
Posted by Voice of Reason on June 29, 2010 at 3:59 pm
More proof of the MNA plants that come to the site. Why can’t we have civil talks without being attacked for not agreeing to what MNA has to say. Representation of the masses, or so it was at one point in time!
Posted by nostrikefornurses on June 29, 2010 at 5:22 pm
Perhaps MNA wants some of the information posted in our links as well! No doubt MNA is reading this blog…and we are a threat to them or they wouldn’t care.
Posted by drichmn on June 29, 2010 at 7:08 am
no, they are not being deleted. I have them saved. I was trying to limit topics discussed so I temporarily removed them from the front page but I think I’ll just turn them into read-only so people can continue to see all of them and all of the discussion in them. They’ll return sometime later today.
Posted by Anonymous on June 29, 2010 at 8:31 am
You may want to activate “archives” that folks can access.
Posted by drichmn on June 29, 2010 at 9:02 am
guess I’ll have to read up on archives. 🙂
Posted by Damon Gates on June 29, 2010 at 1:57 am
We all have choices to make and consequences to live with. It will not be easy for any of us, whether you support the strike (as I do) or youdon’t (as you don’t).
Unlike too many other strike supporters, I bear you no ill will: I understand that it is possible for someone to be as professional and caring as I am and at the same time think differently on this important matter. Given the abuse directed at dissenters (or even moderate supporters, as I’ve found from experience), I understand why you would decline to set yourselves up as targets, even here.
Even so, I have much respect for Keith Richter, who is willing to put his name with his beliefs, even if I don’t agree with them. Conversely, I have little patience for those complaining of being “bullied into voting for the strike.” You can vote your beliefs without exposure, or decline to vote.
Whatever your position, I hope you have already articulated for yourself YOUR reasons for your decision. Not your hospital’s, not MNA’s, not your colleagues’….YOURS. My example is at my blog, if you’re interested.
As noted earlier, decisions have consequences. I, as a supporter of the strike, will have consequences as will those of you who dissent. Understand them and accept them. Not all of them will be pleasant or fair or just. It won’t be just you, and it won’t be just “your side.”
Those of you who have followed the MNA Facebook Wall may have seen my posts. I hope I’m bringing a measured voice of reason to the discussion; I have been castigated for doing so. That will not prevent me from continuing to try.
If you wish to exchange thoughts and ideas with someone “from the other side,” I’m available, and I’d like to hear from you.
In the stormy waters ahead of us, my hope is that there may be safe passage for us all.
Posted by MNChildrensNurse on June 29, 2010 at 2:59 am
That is our hope to Damon–that there will be safe passage for us all. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.
Posted by Anonymous on June 29, 2010 at 6:55 am
From what some voters were saying, voting took place in the open unless the voter wanted “privacy”. To me that was a way to see how a nurse voted. It was also told that ballots could not be folded as they were inserted, so the nurse had to essentially show the ballot with numerous MNA members sitting around the box.
There are nurses that did not want to subject themselves to voting due to the procedure. That may be why the vote is not reflecting the opinion of all the nurses. And they continue to feel intimidated. The union is doing a fine job busting itself.
Posted by AbbottRN on June 29, 2010 at 9:13 am
Voting did take place in the open but there were numerous tables (at the Brooklyn Park?/Center? location at least) where one could obtain momentary privacy to make their decision. When I voted people filtered to an open table to make their vote and were not all crowding around one table. Also, while the vote was required to not be folded you could choose to submit it face up (showing everyone) or face down (maintaining privacy). I do not support the strike and I feel my privacy was respected and maintained.
Posted by Damon Gates on June 29, 2010 at 9:29 am
That was my experience as well. The secrecy was not as “built in to the system” as it is for a governmental election, but you ballot could be as private as you decided to make it.
Posted by drichmn on June 29, 2010 at 7:02 am
Thank you for your comments. You are welcome to continue to comment here, we are not opposed to views that differ from our own as long as comments are respectful and non-judgmental as you showed in yours. We appreciate that you can understand from personal experience why we wish to remain anonymous and why this blog was started.
I am curious. Have you read any literature from the “other side” of the fixed staffing ratios debate? There are links to some of them in our Blogroll. I would welcome hearing your views about what they say and why you think that MNA/NNU is so adamant on including them in the contract.
Posted by Tom on June 29, 2010 at 7:20 am
Damon says: “the strike will have consequences . . . Understand them and accept them. Not all of them will be pleasant or fair or just. It won’t be just you, and it won’t be just ‘your side’.”
There’s the rub. For my own part, I really don’t think those who support the strike truly the consequences that it holds. In addition, I don’t think those who have accepted the rightness of MNA/NNU’s position on fixed staffing ratios haven’t really thought through the consequences of their application in the Twin Cities hospitals.
There has been a rush to judgement and blind acceptance of the MNA’s actions in these negotiations without much critical thinking or debate. MNA’s response to its members has been “trust us”, “it’s for patient safety” and “the hospitals refuse to negotiate”. None of those responses are sufficient given the high cost MNA is imposing on its members and the hospitals by its own refusal to engage in “interest-based” bargaining.
Posted by Damon Gates on June 29, 2010 at 9:27 am
The MNA position on “fixed staffing ratios” has gotten quite a bit more flexible over time. What I think the eventual bottom line will be is “When I say I need this many nurses to take care of this many patients, it’s because I want to provide safe and effective care, not so we can catch up on our online shopping and torpedo the hospital budget.”
Yes, I’ve worked in a lot of other cities, and yes, the Twin Cities has excellent staffing. I am not convinced that it is by definition, therefore, adequate or safe.
Do I think fixed ratios are the “magic bullet”? No. What I would prefer to see is first of all having nursing care “unbundled” from the room charge, even if it’s as a separate line on the hospital bill. With that, I’d like to see some reliable and minimally cumbersome way to track the nursing care a patient needs. Maybe “real professionals don’t strike,” but real professionals aren’t part of the furniture, either.
I believe the hospitals are being ham-handed and short sighted, but MNA isn’t being particularly graceful, either. And an opportunity to meet everyone’s needs and exceed everyone’s expectations may slip away bedause both sides are “in it to win” rather than “in it to solve.”
Posted by drichmn on June 29, 2010 at 9:44 am
Damon, can you point to something in writing that indicates MNA’s current position on fixed staffing ratios? I have not seen anything.
Also, the MDH data on adverse events indicates that staffing is an issue in 3% of adverse events . And the report that is the first link in the Blogroll from the MDH expert panel that MNA was on in fall 2009 that examined patient safety and staffing issues stated: “staffing-related issues emerge relatively rarely as contributing factors or root causes for reportable adverse health events, and that these events are much more often related to flawed processes or protocols than to an insufficient number of nurses or other staff on duty at the time of the event.” My view is that it has been assumed that all staffing issues are related to the current acuity based staffing model but that is a flawed assumption.
Is there anything in the literature currently about how to go about tracking the nursing care a patient needs and making staffing decisions based on that? That would be an alternative to the model that has been in place for many years. We need to base our staffing models on evidence that indicates they improve patient outcomes. That’s why MNA is pushing fixed ratios, is it not? And it’s why I don’t support moving to fixed ratios; the evidence is just not there that fixed ratios improves patient outcomes. If the data was there, I’d be on board. Since it’s not, I have to wonder why MNA is ignoring that and pushing for them anyway.
Posted by Linda R Larson on June 29, 2010 at 12:09 pm
There are many different looks through research and practice at staffing and acuity. No perfect model, I believe, because the variances are many and very complex. It is not always just based on the patient – families many times need a lot of time for support / education / direction and may take much more time than the patient actually does. That is one challenging piece to factor in and not included in most models. Also the experience / skills of a nurse are quite varied. I don’t think many would deny that assignments are made at least in part based on the RN experience level. There are certainly days when getting an assignment of 4 patients looks great until one patient arrests or a family is called in for a care conference and each family member is in a very different place in end of life decisions or a patient falls or any number of issues come up that are totally unpredictable. Other days having 3-4 patients who are more critically ill that seems set up to be a ‘terrible’ day ends up to be a great day because of the people working and the teamwork / collaboration that naturally occurred. Set and fixed systems make sense when working on an assembly line so I know I have 10 minutes to install this part or the line shuts down. If the line is stopped for any reason the work stops and restarts when the line starts up again. Working with humans does not work that way – THANKFULLY. It is RN’s skilled and professional in caring for patients and being constantly attentive to the ever changing needs that make patients safe. It is RN’s in collaboration with every other department / service that support the care of the patient that help make it a safe and good experience for patients. Ratios, no matter what they are, can’t make that happen. I continue to applaud all the nurses and supporters on this site daring to stand up for the profession of nursing and for excellence in patient care. YOU are making a difference. Stay strong to your beliefs and values. I am an RN not in the contract and I will be working during the strike. If I was in the contract I would be crossing the line without question to come in to care for the patients I feel ethically and morally responsible for. I certainly did not go into nursing to make sure that no matter what the economy is that nurses get big raises (when many people would just love to have a job), great pensions (when so many are losing theirs) and health care at minimal cost (when so many are uninsured or underinsured). I did go into nursing because of the love I have for the profession and desire to make the patient experience the best it can be. Thank you all for confirming that for me and so many others.
Posted by lovenursing on June 29, 2010 at 1:02 pm
linda you echo somany of my thoughts!! it is about nurses on the floor making professional judgements about ratios sometimes hour by hour…not pre-described ratios! Cant they see that that takes away the professional judgement of nurses. Although this will be hard times for all, i will stand true to the patients that need our care.
Posted by nostrikefornurses on June 29, 2010 at 1:46 pm
Linda…thank you so much! Your thoughts are shared by many.
Posted by hospitalworkerbee on June 29, 2010 at 7:31 pm
Thank you for saying what so many have not! I am what you would call a support staff member, and we will be effected by the strike just as much as the nurses. Also we do need to keep our focus on the people we care for because if it weren’t for them none of us would have a job we like to do to go to. I love my nurses but I am starting to wonder if their hearts lie with the patients or the union?
Posted by anonymous on June 29, 2010 at 11:26 pm
VERY WELL said. I agree, and I am no longer MNA but MNA or not I would/will be working regardless and I don’t currently work at one of the striking hospitals.
Posted by Damon Gates on June 29, 2010 at 6:03 pm
Here is the most recent staffing proposals:
There is room for flexibility, but this describes the “default” staffing levels, with the capacity to flex in EITHER direction if the bedside nurse believes it’s appropriate.
Rather than fixed ratios, I’d much prefer an iron-clad guarentee from my hospital adminstration that they’ll believe me when I say tell them my staffing needs. And I, in return promise that I’ll understand that they don’t have the power to conjure a nurse from thin air, simply based on my staffing recommendations.
Drichmn, I’m sure there are a number of acuity/intensity scoring systems out there, and probably will a fairly good level of validity. However, until our professional services stop being part of the room charge, I’m not sure why hospital administrations would bother. If there’s no mechanism to assure patients (via their payors) are paying for all the nursing care they get and get all the nursing care they pay for, there’s really no point. The “heads and beds” approach has seemingly worked well enough, looking at an “average” acuity for a unit, but it takes so little else into consideration. Any fixed ratio plan that doesn’t include adjustments for nursing judgement is little better.
Posted by Voice of Reason on June 29, 2010 at 4:03 pm
Tom. You are another voice of reason! Nicley put!
Posted by nostrikefornurses on June 29, 2010 at 11:52 am
Damon, your thoughts are respected here as long as they are respectful. For many of us on this blog we are not debating there are problems and issues that need to be resolved….but we are protesting the process that that goal is being reached (or not reached in this case). We do not feel a strike is a way to solve these issues …we do not feel striking is doing anything good for our patients but will hurt them. I respect those who are striking and feel they are also doing what is best for the patients, but please do not expect all others to follow in your foot steps. I sincerely hope this is all over soon but I fear we are in for a long road ahead.
Posted by Damon Gates on June 29, 2010 at 6:16 pm
The only footsteps of mine I hope people follow (making the rash assumption I’m making such steps) are:
 Entertain the possiblity that even your opponents have legitimate concerns.
 Be respectful.
 Whenever possible, fight to solve, rather than fight to win.
 Be charitable when trying to divine the motives of another.
As this is the first time I’ve worked in a unionized facility and the first time I’ve been through such contentious negotiations, never mind a strike, I endeavor to be (politely) skeptical of ALL sides. I hope, in so doing, I’ve been able to be a voice of moderation and reason.
Posted by wondering1984 on June 29, 2010 at 8:27 pm
Damon, if nursing is pulled out of the room charge as a separate charge or line item in a bill, if you will, would payors reimburse separately for the nursing care? I may be wrong, but I think part of the reason nursing care is bundled into the overall room charge is that it is not separately billable. This proposition seems like something we could move forward through our government though. I like the idea of recognizing a professional fee for nursing services.
Posted by anonymous on June 29, 2010 at 11:34 pm
You are correct on the statements above and I think we need to remember that the billing and bundling is not determined by the TCH but by payors and imparticular Medicare setting the standards. This is a different fight then what a strike can resolve it is far beyond what hospitals across the country can control and I fear with the healthcare reform this will continue to be an ever changing situation. Just food for thought.
Posted by Mady on June 29, 2010 at 12:31 pm
Good to see you here, Damon.
Again, regardless whether or not we agree with each other, it is possible to maintain decorum, respect each other, and simply agree to disagree.
I have been disheartened to see the venom and animosity among the brothers and sisters of the MNA. Why must it be this way? Surely we have all disagreed with our own family members and have not treated them with the same manner with which BOTH sides of this issue are treating each other.
Both those who choose to strike and those who choose not to have their reasons for doing so. No one has come to this decision lightly. As cliched as this sounds, we need to take the high road and treat everyone involved with compassion and respect.
Posted by Annette on June 29, 2010 at 6:40 am
How do i find the rest of the comments from yesterdays entry?
Posted by drichmn on June 29, 2010 at 7:13 am
I’ll be bring them back as read-only later today.
Posted by Anonymous on June 29, 2010 at 10:26 am
That supports my general read on events as even evidence by MNA stating they were pushing fixed ratios legislatively. This is more a case of MNA seeking out a “like-mind” in terms of the powers that be, which is different than that of the rank and file. I think something changed in MNA after 2001 and Fairview went out on strike and MNA did not, perhaps those dissastified in 2001 found a way to positions of influence and then chose to steer MNA in the current direction. Speculation on my part, but the examination of patterns seems to suggest such.
It is really no secret that MNA in preparing and pushing for current situation with nurses focused on pensions and saving pension not “patient safety.” The surest way to get rank and file to follow is to point out some way they can be economically impacted.
Posted by Tom on June 29, 2010 at 10:33 am
The Fairview connection is very, very significant in MNA’s current stance. Remember, Jean Berg — one of the co-presidents of NNU — is a former Fairview nurse.
I don’t think that’s a coincidence!
Posted by Tom on June 29, 2010 at 11:17 am
I meant to say Jean ROSS! She was also formerly secretary of American Nurses United — an AFL-CIO affiliate union representing nurses.
The 2001 Fairview nurses strike has to have influenced her (to this day, Fairview nurses feel that they were left twisting in the wind by the MNA when they stayed out for five weeks). And the union mentality of the AFL-CIO (versus the “association” mentality of the ANA) has certainly affected her behind-the-scenes work in attracting the MNA over to the NNU camp.
I think this explains an awful lot about the MNA fervor over staffing ratios and just how dug in its position is at this point.
Posted by Nurses Who Care on June 29, 2010 at 10:53 am
No, I agree and it is more then a concidence the move from NNU with a Fairview nurse being a co-president. I believe on the Mass. Facebook (Mass Nursing Association Nurses) there is talk also about the similar coincidence with Mass Nursing Association members now at the helm of NNU positions.
I wonder if the membership see this as an issue since NNU is really steering the group down a road to strike just like the Fairview nurses did in 2001.
Looking back in 2001, the Fairview system nurses were the only nurses who did go out on strike. I believe (correct me if I am wrong) the bargaining unit did come back with a contract where most Twin Cities nurses chose to ratify and Fairview nurses did not (can’t remember if it was an overwhelming vote to go out on strike). Did Fairview nurses end up with a better contract in comparison to the other Twin Cities hospital nurses?
Also, I still question why ANA didn’t make more of an issue for their membership at the time to vote to removed them. Losing membership in these numbers is not a positive and NNU continues to grow today.
Posted by Anonymous on June 29, 2010 at 11:48 am
Okay, had not been aware of that, so perhaps NNU and the move to it more MNA having a say in a national union and going along side those such as fairview nurse. So MNA is really one of the power brokers along with CA of the NNU and it’s agenda is their agenda which they been patiently working toward since the Fairview 2001 strike by getting folks into union positions of power?
Posted by ThankFulRN on June 29, 2010 at 11:10 am
Commenting on SadRN1 – your blog post yesterday was inspiring. I am truly have blessed for caring for my patients. Eventhough I haven’t worked as clinical RN in the floor – I applaud all of you for voicing your opinion. Good Luck in coming days! Always, remember your supported!
Posted by Nurses Who Care on June 29, 2010 at 12:02 pm
I believe this is a significant part of the who, what and where of the upcoming strike is how NNU came to be associate wtih MNA and leaving ANA. There is a story behind this and I wonder if MNA membership will look at this aspect since the impact could be the reason they are in a strike mode today. And better yet, especially since they didn’t get to vote for this change according to their bylaws!
Posted by Nurses Who Care on June 29, 2010 at 12:15 pm
And hear is the rationale to the split from ANA.
Jun. 9–Over the years, Jean Ross had become increasingly disenchanted with the national union that represents nurses.
Posted by anurse20 on June 29, 2010 at 12:35 pm
Praying they are negotiating!
Posted by MNChildrensNurse on June 29, 2010 at 12:40 pm
I’m right there with you praying that they are making their way through this!!
Posted by Anonymous on June 29, 2010 at 1:17 pm
I too am hoping they are negotiating and a resolution is reached in time. I am not a nurse or hospital employee. I am a citizen of the Twin Cities and when necessary have been a customer of one of these hospitals. I have read a lot of postings from both sides of this issue and believe that the resolution lies somewhere in the middle. However, due to the behavior I watched on television and saw in person during the one day strike, I will support and assist any nurses choosing to cross the picket lines, to shield them from that behavior again. A nurse is a nurse, whether union or non-union, they are people to be appreciated and held in the highest regard, and I will be there for them.
Posted by Nurses Who Care on June 29, 2010 at 1:28 pm
It is like 1984 all over again. There are over 50,000 hits on this blog and hopefully MNA membership will look at the consequences of a strike. Yes, the hospitals are far from perfect, but in the end they are the employeers who pays your salary and benefits.
“Good article. The “arms race” amongst local hospitals has, indeed, increased debt load and reserve requirements based upon bond covenants to the degree that they have less room for error. The critical question is whether a potential nurses’ strike will create even more dire conditions sufficient to set off another round of consolidations and closures such as what occurred in the 1990s.
In addition to increasing labor costs, a work stoppage will once again fuel the permanent movement of services to alternate settings where medically feasible, reduce post-strike census and service volume, bend referral patterns to St. Cloud and Rochester, etc.
If I were to speculate further, I would predict that Allina may use the pressure to close Unity Hospital. In addition, the “weak sisters” in the 14-hospital bargaining group are North Memorial which would likely fall into Fairview’s camp and Methodist (Park Nicollet) whose only suitor would be HealthPartners.”
Posted by SaneRN on June 29, 2010 at 4:35 pm
That scares me, since I work at one of those weak hospitals!!
Posted by Anonymous on June 29, 2010 at 1:34 pm
I experienced the strike of 1984 and the long, drawn out healing process. My career has eveolved over time and I am now a CNO in out state Minnesota. I applaud those of you that are dedicated to the basic essence of our profession, that being to care for the sick (regardless of the situation). I know it is an extremely difficult time for you as you struggle with your decision, perhaps see a side of your friend or peer that you never would have believed was there, and experience the fear of deciding who to trust. When the day is over, we all have to look in the mirror and decide if we were true to ourselves and our beliefs. If you can validate that each and every night before you rest, you will be at peace.
Please know that those of us who took another career path in the profession of nursing remain committed to the care and safety of the patient and their family, and feel just as strongly about that as any MNA member. Nursing is a combination of art and science, and management is the same. Too much of one and not enought of the other make for bad decisions and outcomes.
I support each and every one of you, and please know that there are many of us in the outer regions of the state that are firmly behind you. God bless.
Posted by nostrikefornurses on June 29, 2010 at 1:44 pm
Many of us believe we are where God wants us to be, thank you.
Posted by Tom LaForce on June 29, 2010 at 1:41 pm
Here’s hoping today’s negotiations are healthy.
Posted by drichmn on June 29, 2010 at 2:07 pm
no personal advertising please. I’m removing your link.
Posted by Tom LaForce on June 29, 2010 at 2:34 pm
Would you have preferred I cut and paste the whole article or did you see some problem with the article? I thought it fit pretty well with what you are doing here.
Posted by drichmn on June 29, 2010 at 3:05 pm
With all due respect, we aren’t the one’s doing the negotiating. And no, I wouldn’t prefer you cut and paste your whole article. Thank you for respecting our request.
Posted by Nurses Who Care on June 29, 2010 at 1:45 pm
I am sure all agree with your hopes for healthy negotiations for the community, nurses, and noncontract hospital personel.
Posted by relievedRN on June 29, 2010 at 3:06 pm
Does anyone have any information regarding the process for calling nurses back to work when this strike ends (assuming there will be one)? Is how nurses are called back part of the current negotiations? I am curious about potential scenarios i.e. will MNA be able to call back nurses who chose to strike before those of us that continued to work? Will nurses who did not strike be subjected to potential layoffs along with the nurses who did strike? I can’t find any language addressing this in the current proposals. Thank you.
Posted by drichmn on June 29, 2010 at 3:08 pm
Someone commented earlier that in the previous strike it was part of the contract language how individuals were called back and that there would be no union retaliation to those who crossed. I would also encourage you to talk more with your HR dept. about this.
Posted by FSH RN on June 29, 2010 at 4:59 pm
I E Mailed my HR Head and he sent me here for answers.
Posted by drichmn on June 29, 2010 at 6:27 pm
really? wow. We have found many answer that’s true but I don’t think any of us can say how they will call back people after the strike. I do know there’s nothing in the contract proposals now because the ones online were written before any strike talk started. I would assume they would try to put something in them now in order to hold both sides harmless, so to speak, after it’s over.
Posted by anotherview on June 29, 2010 at 6:42 pm
Typically with an indefinited strike both sides negotiate how to return nurses to work. That does include the nurses who cross. Unfortunately, the employer cannot be seen as allowing those who crossed to “benefit” from crossing or it appears like an enticement to cross. The employer must remain neutral despite how they might feel. So, it just depends on how it all gets negotiated. One thing I can tell you is that no group will benefit at the expense of another. Nurses that choose to resign from MNA will not fair any better or worse and an MNA member. Nurses that choose to cross will not fair any better or worse than those who don’t.
Posted by LoveMyJob on June 29, 2010 at 6:51 pm
Sounds like what you are saying, since no “side” can be seen to benefit, that layoffs would likely occur by seniority.
Posted by emergnurse on June 29, 2010 at 9:52 pm
Should be said that the low-seniority RNs who cross will be racking up more seniority hours than their non-crossing low-seniority co-workers. Who knows, that 100 hours you work during the strike might make a difference. Worst case scenario, if you’re low-seniority, you can work 4 or 5 12-hr shifts a week, make mega overtime and have enough money to live on for awhile after you’re laid off.
Posted by nostrikefornurses on June 29, 2010 at 3:19 pm
Relieved RN, I was told that for those of us working we will not wait to be “called back” because we never left. But yes please check with your HR dept. I will contact Children’s for clarification.
Posted by hospitalworkerbee on June 29, 2010 at 8:19 pm
In my own experience if you work during the strike you are not put on strike status, so for you there will be no call back. You will just keep reporting to work like you always have. This is just as Allina Hospitals.
Posted by anonymous on June 29, 2010 at 10:53 pm
This should be true for any of the TCHs.
Posted by integritynurse on June 29, 2010 at 3:42 pm
I called Childrens HR today to find out what if any arrangements were being made to enable us to safely cross the picket line. I think there are about 10-11 nurses on my unit alone who are crossing? Do you think that they will have us meet at an undisclosed location and then bring us all in together in a motor coach or something, like they did with the replacement nurses? I just want to know how I am going to get in the door without being harrassed. She referred me back to my manager who did not actually have answers the last time we spoke. What is your opinion on how the hospitals may help us out?
Posted by nostrikefornurses on June 29, 2010 at 4:05 pm
They will help us out but do not want to disclose this information ahead of time for our safety.
Posted by hospitalworkerbee on June 29, 2010 at 8:24 pm
I think if you call the keep working line, they will have you park underground and go thru tunnel’s if your hospital has them, and your parking is usally paid for. Oh and if you are on FMLA or VAC before the strike thru the WHOLE duration you will not be put on strike status.
Posted by babynurse on June 29, 2010 at 4:10 pm
Just wondering if the picketers will be nurses only, or SEIU, AFL-CIO, Teamsters ETC… Just wondering how much havok to expect.
Posted by nostrikefornurses on June 29, 2010 at 4:12 pm
I expect they will bring in as much help as they can find to make their numbers look good..I would expect alot of havoc.
Posted by anonymous on June 29, 2010 at 10:50 pm
What I find difficult to understand are those people who choose to use their children in this fight, especially when you read the comment from the EMS driver about the behavior they saw during the one day.
Posted by Anonymous on June 29, 2010 at 4:32 pm
I know the afl-cio is canvassing and doing other things in support of MNA, just don’t know what.
Posted by Tom on June 29, 2010 at 4:44 pm
I would certainly expect fairly heavy AFL-CIO involvement. Their connection to the NNU which is pulling MNA’s strings right now is pretty direct because the American Nurses Union — on of the founding members of NNU — was an AFL-CIO affiliate.
Posted by izziemedic on June 29, 2010 at 4:39 pm
This is the first time I’ve posted on this site. First of all, I would like to thank everyone who contributes here for the respectful environment that seems to be the norm. Second…and this is directed to the pro-strike crowd…Please, when you are out there picketing next week, please refrain from flipping off or yelling at the the ambulances transporting patients into the ER’s. It happened last time, and really left a bad taste in the mouths of us “ambulance drivers” as many of you call us.
On another note, during our contract talks, which we are involved in, “interest based bargaining” this past winter, they tried to develop a “low need staffing” plan. That works good and well for hospitals, but not necessarily for EMS, Police and Fire. We NEGOTIATED that away, and still came out with a decent contract in these difficult times…a cut of step raises, 3%, 4%, 4% the next 3 years, 90% employer paid healthcare, and some increases in education assistance. So, sometimes sitting down and talking in the same room can be a good thing. Good luck to you all!!
Posted by nostrikefornurses on June 29, 2010 at 5:07 pm
Thanks, wish all could sit down and talk reasonably.
Posted by anonymous on June 29, 2010 at 10:46 pm
It is a sad day when a professional nurse would be so disrespectful to those caring for the patients. Just sad, I’m actually speechless that ANYONE striking or not would behave in that manner.
Posted by drichmn on June 29, 2010 at 5:43 pm
the story in update 3 of the “MNA Member Advisory” topic talks about “flight teams” that are “parachuting” in to help.
Posted by GBML on June 29, 2010 at 11:31 pm
Many of the large foodservice companies that deliver to hospitals are part of the Teamster Union and will have to cross to make deliveries. UPS is part of the Teamster Union as well and I am told that they will have to cross the picket line to deliver.
It’s one thing for different unions to not cross a picket line to help shut down production of products, etc…but from how I understand, they have to cross to deliver necessary goods to the patients.
I believe the Teamster Union has already discussed this with MNA. Still, it will be interesting to see how it bodes with the striking Nurses to have one of the nation’s largest union members crossing their line.
Posted by Linda R Larson on June 29, 2010 at 4:17 pm
This site is such a blessing to me. Thank you all.
I was on the MNABlog site and attempted to post again about the disrespectful, hateful, abusiveness displayed there. I believe everyone has a right their opinions but there is no right to abuse others no matter what the issues are. My comments are continually blocked from that site so I am done there. The fact that I am excluded clearly shows that the keepers of that site do not want a positive message and clearly do not want accountability for bad behaviors. I have really noticed recently – that site definitely has much less activity. Is that because it’s members are getting tired of the abuse too? So back to this site. Over 50,000 views in 10 days is incredible. You have certainly met a need and I am wondering as the Star Tribune said ‘low in numbers’ – maybe not so low!!! BLESSINGS and SAFETY to you all. Would love to walk you all into your hospitals on July 6th – side by side; arm in arm ready to do the work we are called to do.
Posted by nostrikefornurses on June 29, 2010 at 4:21 pm
Thank you Linda….we do appreciate all the support…and I am a little surprised because I really thought I was in the minority when I started this but now I have hope! I am told someone on the MNA FB said they were happy that this blog was not experiencing much activity…wow…..over 52,000 views so far!! That is alot of activity to me! I guess this has met a need and I am so happy that it has empowered so many. Blessings to you also.
Posted by goodnurse19 on June 29, 2010 at 4:26 pm
THIS DEFINITELY HAS MET A NEED. ROCK ON!!
Posted by anurse20 on June 29, 2010 at 7:20 pm
We are still in the minority weare just not alone. There is much comfort in not being alone. Who saw the Mercy Nurse on the news? I was so proud of her she has every attribute a nurse should have.
Well at this time next week my first 12 hour strike shift will be done. So far on my unit five of us will be there on day 1. We have 15 crossing and 5 on the fence on days. Nights I know of 7 for sure that are working I am telling them all about this site. Thank you again for starting it. No strike and Drrich you did good!!!!!!!
Posted by drichmn on June 29, 2010 at 7:31 pm
saw WCCO interview. We had Esme’s request up on the blog all day. I thought she presented her views very well.
Posted by answer to prayer on June 29, 2010 at 7:34 pm
I also saw the interview. The Mercy nurse showed tremendous courage. I applaud her.
Posted by nostrikefornurses on June 29, 2010 at 8:25 pm
Michelle did a wonderful job….and showed tremendous courage.
Posted by anonymous on June 29, 2010 at 10:16 pm
As a nurse, former MNA member and now a nurse leader I want to say Michelle is the epitome of a professional nurse. I understand why may RNs feel it necessary to remain anonymous with their comments and I support those nurse as well, but I honor Michelle for being so honest and brave. She would be the type of nurse I would want working with me in one of my areas or taking care of me or my family. Thank you for representing nurses so well.
Posted by nomobforme on June 29, 2010 at 11:05 pm
I am excited to meet the people who are current co-workers willing to cross the picket line next week. I will welcome my friends and co-workers back to our workplace whenever they return (as strikers or non-strikers). If the negotiation news is bad again tonight, it will be interesting to hear what the MNA’s resignation number is on Monday, July 5. I expect the first wave of people ready to cross the picket line will send in their letters on Thursday and Friday (Monday is a federal holiday for the postal carriers so in order to get resignation letter in- people need to send it in on Friday if you intend to be at work Tuesday at 7:00 am). If the union is supposed to receive it on a business day you may want to be extra safe and send it Thursday.
Posted by goodnurse19 on June 29, 2010 at 11:07 pm
Thank you for that information and for the reminder to get the resignations in before Friday, CERTIFIED mail.
Posted by answer to prayer on June 29, 2010 at 7:31 pm
I also want to thank anurse for starting this blog. I am one of the anonymous Children’s RN’s quoted in Monday’s article, (although, I actually haven’t been too anonymous at work) and ever since I began feeling that the negotiations and the union were taking a wrong turn, I have been praying for someone to set up a way for others with a differing viewpoint to speak up without condemnation. This is it! I believe God has his hand over the entire situation and I feel a sense of peace upon reading all the various posts. Let’s continue the dialogue….we can learn so much from each other
Posted by nostrikefornurses on June 29, 2010 at 8:30 pm
Hi answer to prayer….I started the blog and I am so glad you have found it comforting. I supported the union in the beginning until I felt they went quickly to striking and didn’t turn back. Take care, I hope I get to meet you next week!
Posted by answer to prayer on June 29, 2010 at 10:40 pm
Thank you nostrikefornurses . It is interesting to me that we work for the same organization and feel obligated to communicate publicly via an anonymous blog because we fear retaliation from our peers or the all powerful union. This is America….we should feel safe speaking our views….I hope this all comes to a resolution before we have to meet under strike circumstances….but we have both spoken publicly and I applaud your effort…I feel honored that you are a fellow Children’s Nurse
Posted by nostrikefornurses on June 29, 2010 at 10:52 pm
answer to prayer, I pray that we hear good news yet tonight and avoid a strike. I find it interesting that many are trying to find out who I am…as if that would make a difference? I do not feel safe speaking my view…and that is sad.
Posted by goodnurse19 on June 29, 2010 at 10:53 pm
Let me assure you that you are not alone at Childrens. Last count on my unit there are 13 nurses who will cross the picket line. That’s just one unit alone. And the number is climbing – steadily!
Posted by drichmn on June 29, 2010 at 11:03 pm
do you think that this blog has helped them get the information and support they need to make their decision?
Posted by goodnurse19 on June 29, 2010 at 4:22 pm
I personally have not tried to blog on that site. My guess is that things will start to wane on the site as the days go on. If the strike happens, MNA’s members will be gung ho at first, but the novelty will wear off. Thank you for your vote of confidence for this blog and for your good thoughts and wishes to us. We who will cross can hold our heads high indeed, as we walk in to do our jobs!
Posted by Anonymous on June 29, 2010 at 6:47 pm
I’m not a nurse but appreciate all you do. I’ll be there to help walk you in and I bet the majority of the greater community will as well, all you need to do is ask! We are thankful you will be there!
Posted by anonymous on June 29, 2010 at 10:35 pm
It really is unfortunate that a professional organization who says it represents nurses isn’t willing to let everyone voice their opinion on FB or anywhere without being under attack. It is sad that such negativity is what the MNA would rather support than those nurses who stick with their personal beliefs and choose to do it in a polite professional manner, no matter the opinion. Whatever happened to freedom of speech. Even those who don’t support the strike still paid dues and in my mind have a right to have an opinion different then MNA and speak out publically especially on the MNA FB or website.
Posted by nostrikefornurses on June 29, 2010 at 6:33 pm
loyalnurse, many of us believe the union has a bigger agenda also and we are refusing to be a part of it. We have been sticking to MNA’s agenda and where is that getting us? The staffing proposals are rediculous and the hospital will not adopt them…so be prepared to strike for a long time. Some of us are thinking outside of what MNA wants us to believe. Good luck to you.
Posted by wildfox on June 29, 2010 at 7:44 pm
You a poster girl or boy (not sure what gender you are) for what ALL nurses should be. Be proud of what you have accomplished here and for doing the right thing in the event of a strike and caring for our patients. I will be working through the strike too and I will be thinking of you each day as a true inspiration of strength and courage.
Thanks wildfox…I needed that right now…best to you also.
Posted by transplanted on June 29, 2010 at 10:55 pm
anurse: I remember back when you first sought advice on the Strib site, for how to create this blog, and had been watching your comments. You recognized the need, and just look at how great the need truly was! I often thought there were far more nurses against striking than anyone knew, and you have provided the perfect forum for them to come out and stand up for what they believe. My thanks to drich, also – enjoyed your many comments on the Strib blog, and even-keeled approach, as much as your technical expertise in getting this blog up and running. To see you editing the comments here, and your welcoming attitude to everyone with an opinion (so long as they keep within the established parameters for commenting), is refreshing. People reject my comments on the Strib site as soon as they see my name – but none of us knows who we’re really talking to, or what they do in the real world, whether TCH or nurse. You have friends in high places, though you may not know it. And you have so much more support than you’re aware of, at this moment. But it will all become plain, with time. So much good will as I have seen displayed by so many nurses, cannot go unrewarded, when this shakes out. Bless you all in your struggle, and please know how many of us stand with you, respect all you do, and hold nurses in the highest regard.
Posted by drichmn on June 29, 2010 at 11:11 pm
thank you very much for your kind words. anurse did create a safe little port in the storm for the nurses and I’m just glad that I could help shine the beacon from the blog lighthouse.
Posted by nostrikefornurses on June 29, 2010 at 11:13 pm
thank you transplanted. It is still difficult but helps so much to know we have so much support for doing what we feel is right.
Posted by RN's Husband on June 29, 2010 at 6:45 pm
I want to thank every single Nurse out there who plans to work during the strike. My wife, an RN, is the main bread winner in our family. She has chosen to work, and the choice was not an easy one. The union reps have been rude, disrespectful, have offered NO help, and have brought her to tears on more than one occasion. While I believe that each side has their own agenda’s, the hospital has always treated her with respect. It has been a great stress in our family and I, for one, am unimpressed by a union that disrespects and treats their members the way that MNA has done. Needless to say that they work for you, you pay them. So THANK YOU ALL. Thank you for supporting your families, for working long hard hours with little recognition, for actually caring about patient welfare, and for being there for the ones that really matter. I love ya, and I’ll fight with you every step of the way!
Posted by nostrikefornurses on June 29, 2010 at 6:58 pm
thanks….we will be there to work beside your wife during and after the strike. I agree the treatment and comments by MNA members is distressing.
Posted by drichmn on June 29, 2010 at 7:12 pm
thank you so much. Hopefully your wife will visit us and find answer to questions she may have.
Posted by pharmone on June 29, 2010 at 9:08 pm
I’m not a nurse, but promise to help any nurse who needs help. I love the nurses I work with, so for those who come to work, I promise to be there. Thank you for this website…I was worried about the profession of nursing but all of your comments have restored my faith in good judgement and critical thinking skills of nurses! There are many of us that support you, and will continue to support you!
Posted by loyalnurse on June 29, 2010 at 8:06 pm
The things you are referring to are all negotiable- are you all willing to really cross and have no union anymore? Will you be comfortable with that? The more that cross the longer the strike will last and the less you will come out with too. You are part of it as you work in a union hospital, but until strike time you seemed to not have problems with it? I understand you want to care for your patients as we all do or we wouldn’t be working there in the first place. Everything that the union has gained for you has been fought for and we set the bar for the other hospitals nationwide with these issues. I agree the staffing grid is useless in negotiations but that is only a part of what we are negotiating for. You might be the ones that will have your jobs but will you want to work in those conditions? Stafffing is adequate for Childrens but the hospitals want to make it worse and have by cutting more anciallary staff, it will get worse and I guess you will cross if you don’t want to be in a union hospital and you will strike if you do. It’s not just the crossing nurses who are brave it is also the ones who will forfeit their paychecks to keep our jobs as nice as they are. I wish that I could cross too and let others negotiate my benefits while I get paid but that isn’t how it works. No bad feelings just worrying about all of us on both sides.
Posted by drichmn on June 29, 2010 at 8:19 pm
crossing the picket line doesn’t get rid of the union. And there is nothing in the contract that says that the hospitals want to make staffing “worse” or “cut” ancillary staff. We deal with facts on this blog, not speculation. This is fair warning that I will delete any further comments that speculate what anybody’s motives are or what the hospitals will do.
Posted by nomobforme on June 29, 2010 at 11:22 pm
You CAN cross too. Your union representatives are supposed to be working for you negotiating. You should not have to work for them and lose your paycheck because they can’t get the job you pay them for done. Union leaders are playing with peoples lives are you really ok with that? If you believe that the first strike was dangerous for patients why do a second and longer one?
Posted by Anonymous on June 29, 2010 at 8:36 pm
The days behind us have been rough. The days ahead uncertain. I want to make only one comment that I hope roots deep on our minds. It takes a team to care for a patient. That team consists of nurses, lab techs, nurses aides, PT/OT, doctors, Housekeepers, computer people, business people, etc. No one career can claim credit for “caring for our patients”. When the nurses go on strike, the patient WILL BE CARED FOR APPROPRIATELY AND VERY WELL. This was proven in spades on June 10. No matter who you are or what your career choice, you are therapeutic to patients. I think we need to remember the old adage: “it takes a town to raise a child” In the same light, it takes a team to care for a patient.
Posted by nostrikefornurses on June 29, 2010 at 8:40 pm
Thank you for the reminder for all….as a nurse I am but one part of the team. I don’t want this strike to hurt other members of the team.
Posted by wildfox on June 29, 2010 at 8:48 pm
As the pending strike grows closer I have talked to people who I thouhgt would NEVER cross the picket line actually thinking about it now. It is a step closer to the morale solution … putting aside personel wants and needs and doing what nurses are suppose to do… care for patients. Thank you to ALL nurses who have made your mind up and are going to go to work and care for patients. To those nurses sitting on the fence follow your heart. To those who plan to strike …. this is not your only option.
Posted by nostrikefornurses on June 29, 2010 at 9:01 pm
I am still holding out a little hope wildfox
Posted by followingmyheart on June 29, 2010 at 9:06 pm
Thank you once again for starting this site!! What an encouragement it is to me! I was the only one on my unit at Mercy who crossed during the one day strike but I know of three other nurses on my unit who are now leaning toward crossing .
It is so great to know that I am not alone. The week before the one day strike I did have fear of what might happen when I crossed because I knew I was the only one crossing on my unit. Instead I found gratefulness on the part of the hospital management team, appreciation from replacement nurses for helping them find their way and encouragement from a physician who said he admired my courage to follow my convictions.
I recently heard a quote from an RN at another hospital that could be our motto for our patients because we will not leave them abandoned , “No fear, I’ll be here!!”
I also just listened to the interview of the Mercy nurse by WCCO TV and noticed that Esmay Murphy reported that MNA said they had only received 50 resignations in the last three months. Wait until they start getting those resignations pouring in this week!!!! I have my resignation ready to go. I have waited until I could research what the resignation would really mean. MNA will still be getting a large chunk of my hard earned money but if it used only to service the contract I am OK with that. I will be thrilled to not be forced to fund political action efforts that don’t represent my views!!
Posted by amanager on June 29, 2010 at 9:18 pm
hmm. my understanding was that nurses who cross the picket line would not have to be included in the Return to Work negotiation because they never Struck. maybe the legal advice will changes over time, but that is what I’ve been told.
Posted by Replacement nurse who cares on June 29, 2010 at 9:27 pm
Any word on results of negotiations today?
Posted by drichmn on June 29, 2010 at 9:42 pm
not that I’ve heard.
Posted by emergnurse on June 29, 2010 at 9:31 pm
Just want to say that this made me barf a little in my mouth:
“For nurses who are active in their faith communities, MNA is hosting a training about bringing the message of patient safety to your own congregation, and working with members of your place of worship to support nurses.
This training will be facilitated by Adam Robinson of Workers Interfaith Network and Melissa Rudnick of Jewish Community Action.
Nurses of all faiths are encouraged to attend.
Questions or for more information, contact Geri.Katz@mnnurses.org”
Is the union really trying to tie members’ faith with their agenda? Weird.
Posted by Anonymous on June 29, 2010 at 11:19 pm
That is strange, but it is really all about generating support and taking it to your support including a members religious support is part and parcel. Personally if any nurse at my church is on strike, I will treat them with love and respect and understand they are doing what they think is right. I have a distinct theological view from a Christian perspective on “striking” but not something I am going to foist upon others.
Posted by starrynurse on June 29, 2010 at 9:34 pm
I work at United and feel what many of you are feeling—this strike does not seem right, in many ways. The public is not behind us, and for good reason. The union is grabbing hold and running with the idea of “patient care,” “safe staffing,” while their proposals seem unrealistic and too costly. While I feel overwhelmed many a shift, I do not feel like we are working in unsafe environments. (The days I do are the days we are short nursing assistants, on my units we’ve never been short an RN). It seems like they are shouting this to gain the public’s AND the MNA members’ support. While I know there are other issues at hand, many of my coworker are just going along with what the union is saying, because of course they want to fight for “patient care, patient safety,” they may not know any better, and are simply going along with the majority. I would maybe strike if I truly felt unsafe and that my patients were endangered, like how some hospitals are in the southern states (so I’ve heard).
I don’t think I’ll cross the picket line right away as I would like to see how it plays out at first, but was wondering (sorry if this question has already be answered), can I cross the picket line and come back to work whenever during the strike? I just have to sign that union resignation form, give it to HR, then I should be ok to return?
Posted by emergnurse on June 29, 2010 at 9:43 pm
You don’t need to resign from the union unless that’s what you want to do. I would, however, let your boss know ASAP that you want to cross and which days/nights you’d like to work. I was told that they’re making schedules right now, so you would get plugged in to your preferred shifts if you do it early.
Posted by drichmn on June 29, 2010 at 9:45 pm
I would advise you to check with your manager and HR dept.
Posted by drichmn on June 29, 2010 at 9:47 pm
also, check out the “tips if you work during the strike” FAQ in the FAQ’s tab at the top of the page.
Posted by MNPharmGal on June 29, 2010 at 10:01 pm
I’m an avid observer of what is going on with the nurses. Again, I am so glad this site is available for all to have a voice. I got so sick of reading the awful comments on the Strib site. As a different contract employee (non-nursing), I’m following closely as we will be negotiating our contract later this year. I also work very closely with the nurses on my floors, and we rely on each other throughout the day. One of the nurses on my floor today told me that she will be crossing, along with at least 5 others. She said she is already starting to get the cold shoulder from her co-workers. She said she reminds them that they work for the hospital, NOT the union, and she feels it is her duty to continue to work. I applaud her, as well as all the other nurses who are crossing the line to continue working. We are all part of the health care team, and rely on each other. If one cog is short or missing, the wheel does not turn very well. I hope things can be resolved quickly, but I don’t have a good feeling about it.
To all who will be crossing the line, please know I will be there to support you and help those coming in to fill in. Thank you for all you do – you are appreciated!
Posted by nostrikefornurses on June 29, 2010 at 11:04 pm
Thanks MNPharmGal, police and firefighters are considered “essential employees” who cannot strike… I wish that were true for us…thanks for being there for the patients and for us!
Posted by Replacement nurse who cares on June 29, 2010 at 10:03 pm
I read that the MNA is having meetings with nurses tomorrow to prepare for strike. Is that true? If so, does that mean they will not be negotiating further?
Posted by dragonfly on June 29, 2010 at 10:08 pm
It is my understanding that the nurses who cross are not a part of the “return to work negotiation” as they never left their position. Other nurses will be returned as the census permits according to seniority. It probably will be negotiated at the bargaining table. I really believe the TCH will back the nurses who stayed and cared for the patients to the hilt. I do not feel threatened they will forget who continued to stay dedicated to caring for our patients through this torturous time…Anybody know anything different?
Posted by anurse20 on June 29, 2010 at 10:28 pm
I was told why would you need to be called back when you never left. Nurses who leave are placed on strike status. More then likely will be called back by seniority.
Posted by inpatientlywaiting on June 29, 2010 at 10:09 pm
Hello all, this is my first post. I am not a nurse, but I am “inpatientlywaiting” for my acceptance. I am one of the many ancillary staff fearing for my job. A friend on mine told a nurse collegue she was in fear and was laughed at. “well you can just file unemployment”she said. I have spoken to friends who were unsure they could cross, but this blog has given them strength. I thank you for that, and wish you all the best of luck.
A “friend” of mine is in a relationship with someone who puts a roof over her head, clothes on her back, does anything for her… As long as it’s good for him. If they go out he tells her what to wear, where they go, he damages her friendships with those he doesn’t like. He controls her every move, and when she threatens to leave him, he promises to make her life a living hell. A decision she will live to regret. My advice to her? Get rid of him.
Posted by anurse20 on June 29, 2010 at 10:31 pm
Wow that is a great point, except the union has done great things for us in the past. This new Union is not what I signed up for. But like a bad relationship I am scared that everyone in the wake of this will be collateral damage.
Posted by April on June 29, 2010 at 10:10 pm
I am a contract nurse in a hospital affected by the strike, however I only work casual so I am not as affected by the impending strike as most and have consequently not become as well informed as I should. I don’t support some of the proposals by the union, nor the attitude of the hospital spokesperson on the news. But really, what I want to say has more to do with how we are making the argument, and how we feel about ourselves, regardless of our personal choice when it comes to the strike.
I absolutely support people who want to work through the strike and I feel that anyone in that situation should not be looked down upon. If I were the one responsible for supporting my family I would certainly have major qualms about striking and more than likely would feel compelled to work due to monetary needs. However, what bothers me is when I hear people making comments like our “hearts should be with our patients” that we shouldn’t be “in it for the money”, implying, or outright stating that we should be willing to make sacrifices for our patients at a cost to our personal lives. Perhaps this is so prevalent because we are a profession dominated by women and natural caregivers, we feel like its expected of us and acceptable. We are willing to stretch ourselves as far as possible. We do make sacrifices for our patients at work every day, we go without food, without sitting, sometimes without even peeing, of course we do these things without a second thought. I believe though, that when it comes to the bigger picture, my heart lies with my family and what it needs. It should be ok for us to expect to be paid fairly and insured fairly, in fact, one could argue that our health insurance and retirement/ end-of-life benefits should be more affordable than someone selling insurance or making phone calls or IT, etc because of the specific environment we work in. I worked full time in different ERs for years. Before that I worked full time for years in a PCU and an ICU. I have been subjected to violence, death threats, unavoidable blood and other (worse) bodily fluids, etc, not due to my negligence, but due to patients making a purposeful effort to hurt me and my coworkers. I’ve been exposed to bacterial and viral meningitis, pertussis, a decade’s worth of influenzas, HIV, the list goes on, many times, all of which have the potential to be transmitted to my husband or my children, some of which could kill me or them. In addition to that, depending on where you work, you may go to work every day and be putting yourself at risk of violence. That’s just a fact. You can be as safe as you possibly can and still be hit or threatened with “I’m coming back for you, gonna kill you”. Thankfully, that rarely actually happens, but its a risk some of us face. We put ourselves in this position, in this job, because we are natural caretakers, but that doesn’t exclude the need to provide for our own selves and our own families. Maybe especially because we are mostly women and many many of us are the sole caregivers and providers for our children.
So yeah, the union is asking for raises, I don’t think its a “big” raise, and yes MNA is demanding good pensions and insurance cost (neither of which I get, so don’t think I’m arguing for myself), but fair is fair. It’s not PC to say that but it should be. A lot of us do a job that takes a toll on our bodies and minds; its not an easy job. Yes, I have compassion for my patients, I have loved some of my patients like family especially when I worked in the inpatient setting and took care of the same people for extended periods, when you get to know your patients after numerous admissions over years. But yes, I do lift and move people without help, because sometimes its do it myself or let them sit in their soiled bed until someone else can help, and on short-staffed days that just isn’t acceptable. And yes, I go home at night and worry about some of them late into the night or morning, depending on the shift. Most of us will have bad backs well before its time to retire, and I would venture to guess that many of us will deal with depression related to our work during our career. So yes, I think its fair that we be well compensated. What I don’t think is fair is for us to make ourselves and our coworkers feel guilty about making these demands.
CEO’s of these hospitals are being paid their bonuses because they are “working hard” for the hospitals. I believe they do work hard in their job and maybe do deserve bonuses. I would argue though, that the line workers-those of us in contact with the patients-are working harder. People are sicker, and lets face it, fatter than ever. Our backs, minds, livelihoods, and licenses are on the line every day, and we just smile and tuck in our chins and get our jobs done, and most of the time we make each patient and his or her family feel like they are our only patient. We DESERVE to be well compensated for that.
Posted by drichmn on June 29, 2010 at 10:28 pm
I don’t disagree with anything you say. I believe that the raises and health insurance benefits that the hospitals offered are fair and I believe that the current pension changes MNA wants makes it unsustainable not to mention the substantial increases they want in wages and employer paid health insurance. I am puzzled though why you bring up the exposure to diseases that we face as justification for receiving more than other health care workers especially when MNA wants to include in the contract a blanket exemption of all nurses from the annual flu shots that protect us and our patients?
Posted by Anonymous on June 29, 2010 at 11:32 pm
apparently hospitals have made some move to negotiate on acuity staffing and pension, according to facebook site. MNA are making strike preparations tomorrow…
Posted by drichmn on June 29, 2010 at 11:52 pm
discussing acuity staffing is the right thing to talk about. We’ll see how willing MNA is to move off of fixed ratios.
Posted by Anonymous on June 29, 2010 at 11:56 pm
I read that persons response, and just see it as the reactions of some individuals when they have in their mind created “Admin” as a “big evil” not to be trusted. It really is a function of being wrapped into a particular type of group think, where any challenge to the status is dimissed out of hand.
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