6/30: 10 day strike notice Countdown-Day 6

A place to discuss your thoughts/feelings as the strike draws near.

This topic is now read-only.

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204 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous on June 30, 2010 at 12:36 am

    June 29 Bargaining Update
    June 30, 2010 ·
    32 Votes
    http://mnablog.com/2010/06/30/june-29-bargaining-update/
    Statement from the Minnesota Nurses Association:
    Despite MNA nurses significantly modifying their staffing and wage proposals, there was little progress made in today’s negotiations with the Twin Cities Hospitals. In regards to staffing, MNA removed several components of our proposal that the hospitals felt were too rigid, while at the same time maintaining a maximum patient assignment for each nurse based on the individual needs and acuity (how sick a particular patient is) of each patient assigned to a particular nurse.

    MNA also lowered its wage proposal to 3 percent for each year of the contract, which is the same as the 3 percent raise Regions Hospital gave its nurses earlier this month. The employers responded with the same 0-1-2 wage proposals they have offered previously.

    Many of the employers’ concessions and take backs remain on the table. During today’s session, the employers said their solution to the unsafe staffing issue – which Twin Cities nurses have been trying to address since the early 1990s – would be to create a MNA-Twin Cities Hospital “task force” to study the problem. This same “task force” concept was tried last year at the request of the legislature, failed miserably and was consequently disbanded.

    Despite the hospitals’ claim in a press statement (that was released as bargaining was still going on) that the proposed decrease in pension contributions was off the table, the fact is that it is contingent on a number of things: MNA nurses must accept all the take backs and concessions the hospitals are proposing, none of which address patient safety or staffing issues. The MNA membership must approve a contract with these concessions. The nurses must pull their 10-day strike notice. Only if all those things happen will the employers make a “recommendation” to their pension bargaining team to keep the nurses’ pension as is.

    The MNA bargaining teams felt that this proposal was unacceptable and rejected it but requested a return to the table on Wednesday. In fact, our nurses remain committed to meeting anytime, anywhere before July 6th in hopes we can reach a contract agreement and avoid a strike.

    • Posted by Not A Union Fan RN on June 30, 2010 at 1:17 am

      Would just like to say that as a Replacement RN…..in our inner circles we are all dedicated to helping your patients and all of you when we come if things are not worked out before July 6. Please don’t be afraid of us or scared of us. I promise you that a lot of us are travel nurses…..we are very used to jumping in and learning the swing of things quickly on the units and we are notorious for being team players. We stick together like family and will embrace all of the staff and patients on the inside. YOU WILL NOT BE ALONE!!!!! Good luck to everyone!

      • not a union fan RN, we thank you for coming in to help!

        • Posted by answer to prayer on June 30, 2010 at 9:03 am

          I worked with many replacement nurses on 6/10 and found them to be more than competent. Many of them remarked that our facilities and equipment were top notch and that our current staffing ratios are enviable. In fact, about 2 pm on the day of the strike, I asked one of the replacement nurses if she needed a break, and she replied, “I have been on a break all day” and she had a typical Children’s nurse assignment. I want to reassure MN nurses who will cross that they will be working with professional RN’s during a strike and while these nurses will need mentoring, especially with charting, they have our patients care as their top priority.

          • thanks…it is good reassurance as MNA has been throwing out how we are risking our license to be there with them.

            • Posted by Anonymous on June 30, 2010 at 9:55 am

              The MN Board of Nursing is the state government agency responsible for license issue and license disciple. I fail to see how crossing the picket line can impact a nurse’s license. Maybe if someone was dishonest and foolish enough to file a Complaint Registration Form ( http://www.state.mn.us/mn/externalDocs/Nursing/Complaint_Form_041503084226_Complaint%20Registration%20Form%201-20-2010.pdf ) with the MNBoN, then something could happen. I am guessing that the MNBoN would not be happy with the folks responsible for filing such forms.

            • Posted by goodnurse19 on June 30, 2010 at 10:05 am

              I just tried to call the Minn Board of Nsg. Can’t get through, all phone lines tied up. Just think of all the nursing liscenses being issued this week!
              Welcome blessed replacement nurses.

            • Posted by may on June 30, 2010 at 6:53 pm

              coming up from new orleans to help. i came up for the one day strike and had the pleasure of working at bethesda hospital. we were all treated extremely well by all the ancillary staff. it was a great day and i know all the patients and family members were just as thrilled. don’t know yet where i am being placed just yet but i do hope i get to work with regular staff members. we don’t have nurses unions down here and i hope we never do. as an outsider looking in and not really familiar with the workings of these unions, it would seem to me that the mna can’t just say no to the hospitals proposals, which by the way do seem fair to me, but needs to be voted on by dues paying union members. i certainly do understand the patient / nurse ratio…i work tele stepdown and we have 5 patients most of the time. when our acuity is high our load goes down to 4, it is a very workable situation. we have a great ancillary staff and we all work together. i hope all works out for yall, see ya tuesday , maybe!

            • Posted by nomobforme on June 30, 2010 at 8:06 pm

              I called the HR strike line and all the lines were also tied up today…

            • Posted by nomobforme on June 30, 2010 at 8:08 pm

              Sorry I mean the line for the people who are crossing the line for the strike… Not the strike line.

            • Posted by Not A Union Fan RN on June 30, 2010 at 11:35 pm

              MNA wants their members to not think about some little facts about us Replacement RN’s………that we ARE nurses like everyone else! We might not be “union” nurses…but we are STILL nurses! Only 20% of nurses nationally are in a union…..so are the other 80% of the country’s nurses automatically “subpar” as it has been said of the Replacement RN’s on the MNA FB page? That is unfair and quite arrogant for anyone to think.

              We all had the same nursing core curriculum schooling as MNA nurses …..we all graduated and took the same NCLEX requirements as MNA nurses…..we all passed our Boards like the MNA nurses…..We all rcvd our licenses through state BON’s like the MNA nurses……..We all have experience working in a hospital as nurses like the MNA nurses……..WE ALL HAVE A LICENSE TO PROTECT LIKE THE MNA NURSES!!!!!!! See where I’m going here?

              Replacement RN’s as a whole…..are mostly travel nurses, have years and years of experience, have been cross trained in various departments over the years, have worked in prestigious hospitals all over the country, have been trained in various types of equipment and supplies, have multiple computer charting system experience, are well versed on the “ins and outs” of how working in a hospital during a strike is, have recommendations from managers all over the country, have taken and passed more drug screens and background checks than most nurses (b/c of it being a requirement for each new job), have been fingerprinted and checked through various state boards of nursing (where we have been completely cleared and granted licensure), we have a lot of CEU’s that we have to keep up with for the multiple state licensing requirements, we have orientation at each hospital that we have ever worked, we work as a team as a whole (we are like a family), we have spouses, children, and even jobs at hospitals back home……..we ARE nurses………we care about patients no matter what state we work in.

            • Posted by drichmn on July 1, 2010 at 12:06 am

              And God bless you for being willing to deal with the abuse thrown your way from striking nurses to care for patients. You learn quickly and are flexible and adaptable and we recognize and welcome your skills.

      • Posted by wildfox on June 30, 2010 at 5:52 pm

        You will be welcome here as you were June10. We will help you care for our patients.

      • Posted by Anonymous on June 30, 2010 at 11:19 pm

        Thank you for helping…it makes me angry to hear the hateful things that are said about the replacement nurses. You are valued, and appreciated. I wish all the TCH nurses could be caring for their own patients.

        • Posted by Not A Union Fan RN on June 30, 2010 at 11:41 pm

          Thank You! It means a lot to us to hear that we are valued……the thing I hate the most about some of the union choosing to bash Replacement RN’s is that is scares the patients……they must think they are going to die just b/c we will be there b/c of how the union gets fear all riled up in everyone. What we find often though is that the patients are relaxed and satisfied with our performance. I also hear from patients over and over how upset they are at the union nurses that are outside yelling through bullhorns while picketing b/c the patients can’t rest properly.

    • Posted by Leyla on June 30, 2010 at 8:53 am

      “Despite MNA nurses significantly modifying their staffing and wage proposals, there was little progress made in today’s negotiations with the Twin Cities Hospitals. In regards to staffing, MNA removed several components of our proposal that the hospitals felt were too rigid, while at the same time maintaining a maximum patient assignment for each nurse based on the individual needs and acuity.”
      Why can’t MNA be clear with their members about the proposals? They’ve SIGNIFICANTLY modified their staffing proposal. What does that mean? Did they remove the unit closure at 90%? Did they get rid of the $5,000 fines whenever they were forced to close a unit, or divert from ER? Did they remove the ER diversion if wait times exceed 3 hours (My hospital still averages over 4 hours despite significant changes and gains)? Have they adjusted the ratios to accommodate the night shift’s ability to manage an extra patient on most floors?
      I do not trust MNA leadership. They have every capability of providing clear and concise details to the membership so that they may make an informed decision, yet they fail to do so. I hope more people are asking, “Why?”

  2. Posted by Anonymous on June 30, 2010 at 12:43 am

    Reading between the lines on the MNA release, I imagine part of negotiations went as suggested but pretty sure not a clear picture and the release designed to keep the rank and file agitated. Both sides trying to continue to paint the picture that the other is not willing to give. And both sides probably remained entrenched at this point. All games playing to make otherside look bad or gain support.

    Also would wonder “why” a task force didn’t work and why we are ever rapidly approaching a damaging strike.

  3. Posted by MNChildrensNurse on June 30, 2010 at 12:49 am

    Encouragement and hope for today from the book “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young….

    “Stay calmly conscious of Me today, no matter what. Remember that I go before you as well as with you into the day. Nothing takes me by surprise. I will not allow circumstances to overwhelm you, so long as you look to Me. I will help you cope with whatever the moment presents. Collaborating with Me brings blessings that far outweigh all your troubles. Awareness of My Presence contains Joy that CAN endure all eventualities.”

    Again, I don’t intend to offend anyone with my beliefs…I just want to share some peace with us all in this time.
    Let’s continue to pray today, for negotiators on both sides of the table, and pray that God be present in the negotiations, and soften hearts, and open up their minds to really negotiating, and being willing to give a little on both sides.
    Thank you all for being here so that we can all draw strength, courage and comfort from each other.
    Wishing you all peace throughout the day ahead of us!!

    • Posted by Not A Union Fan RN on June 30, 2010 at 1:13 am

      Very kind of you to post this and refreshing to see someone not afraid or intimidated to be outspoken in their faith in Jesus and God. You are not alone. The best to you in this difficult time. God Bless everyone.

    • Posted by LoveMyJob on June 30, 2010 at 5:44 am

      Thank you! Your reminders are so wonderfully timely and they are a blessing to me. Just what I need to hear right now!

    • Posted by you have support on June 30, 2010 at 6:39 am

      Thank you it reduced my stress after reading the top post. This blog and the thoughtful posts of the nurses who come here from both sides (Damon) renew my faith that there is hope.

      • Posted by drichmn on June 30, 2010 at 6:50 am

        As we convey to our seriously ill patients and their families–there is always hope.

    • Posted by answer to prayer on June 30, 2010 at 8:43 am

      I admire your strong faith and look forward to these messages. I feel honored that you are a fellow nurse at Children’s. Since it now appears fairly certain that a strike is imminent and many of us will be “crossing”, it brings to the forefront of my mind the one who bore the ultimate cost for us all on the Cross. Stay strong everyone

      • answer to prayer, we received an email in our groupwise from Children’s and we are providing a link to that from our site as well…will be interesting to see how MNA explains this one!

        • Posted by answer to prayer on June 30, 2010 at 9:10 am

          I am aghast that MNA rejected this proposal. I know the pension was THE issue for so many nurses. I really hope that this opens some eyes. I am now truly questioning what this is about?

          • answer to prayer, they will have some explaining to do at the meetings today! I wonder how many will continue to buy their story.

          • Posted by Loving Aunt on June 30, 2010 at 3:21 pm

            I’m afraid that the nurses are pawns for the national and the California groups. The MNA leadership is just falling into line with the national leadership and everyone else is going to pay for it–the MN nurses, the hospitals and, for sure, the patients!

          • Posted by Anonymous on June 30, 2010 at 9:26 pm

            It is about wanting to get ratios that are black and white into a contract just like California! This is not about patient safety or about truly representing what ALL MNA members truly want. This upcoming strike makes me sick to my stomach!!

            • Posted by Anonymous on June 30, 2010 at 9:37 pm

              There is definetly something not right with this whole thing. They seem as shady as our president. It makes me sick that we are supposed to be concerned for patient safety, but yet on Tuesday we are supposed to walk out on those same patients. I had never heard about these concerns for patient ratios until around May, seems a little fishy to me.

        • Posted by acsofs on June 30, 2010 at 9:39 am

          Yes it’ll be interesting and sad to see. Their manipulation skills are incredible! They attack each and every detail with vigor.

    • MNChildrensNurse, I thank you once again for starting my day off with such wonderful words. I am proud to be a Children’s nurse along side you.

    • Posted by Anonymous on June 30, 2010 at 11:03 am

      That is awesome! Peace in the storm. Look up and pray.

    • Posted by notwalking on June 30, 2010 at 1:35 pm

      Thank you for listening to the one true voice. Fellow christian nurses have asked me what the scriptures say pertaining to our dilemma. The truth is always founded in Love.

  4. Posted by acsofs on June 30, 2010 at 2:21 am

    Wonderful to see the image of this website on the WCCO news report tonight!! Many thanks and big hugs to all who have contributed their thoughts and time here.

    Hats off to Michelle for standing up to express her beliefs, especially at this very difficult juncture. You can be proud of yourself Michelle!!

    • Posted by supportiveRN on June 30, 2010 at 7:40 pm

      I am an MNA member in the state bargaining unit. I am deeply saddened to see how some of my professional nurse colleagues are choosing to behave. It is not consistent with my professional values.

      The voice you offer here is so needed! I applaud your efforts to have respectful dialogue while wrestling with challenging topics. Reading about you all is my daily dose of sanity in this unfortunate situation. I will be praying for inner strength for all of you who are struggling with your personal decisions about how to respond if a strike occurs.

      • supportiveRN, your prayers are appreciated and will be in the days ahead. The decision to cross is a difficult one and not a decision any of us have made lightly…but one many of us have decided we must do to stand up for what we believe is right.

      • Posted by Anonymous on June 30, 2010 at 10:45 pm

        As does everything that is put out there by MNA needs to be taken with a truckload of salt.

  5. Posted by TJ on June 30, 2010 at 5:11 am

    After reading the statements for both parties about last night’s proposal I’m completely dumbfounded. Why is this not going up for a vote?

    • Posted by RN Husband on June 30, 2010 at 7:24 am

      With the last vote, MNA negotiators now have all of the power to decide what to accept or reject – time for RNs to vore with their feet instead of inside the MNA’s election HQ!

      • Posted by drichmn on June 30, 2010 at 7:42 am

        I agree. The quote from a nurse in one of the stories saying she was voting for the strike because she hoped it would be leverage enough not to have to use it just indicated to me what a bill of goods the nurses were being sold. I learned long ago never make a threat unless you are willing to follow through. It looked to me like a set-up then for exactly the reason you said.

        • Posted by answer to prayer on June 30, 2010 at 10:11 am

          What I can’t understand is that now the cat is out of the bag, and it is clear that the union really intended to strike all along. Are the nurses in MN being used as pawns in a power struggle? I am getting the feeling this is about the NNU’s national agenda and not about any of MN nurses real concerns.

          • Posted by goodnurse19 on June 30, 2010 at 10:19 am

            Nurse meetings at Childrens should be interesting today. Can hardly wait to see how they defend this one. I hope that the nurses hold their feet (MNA) to the fire.

          • Posted by Rn4Life on June 30, 2010 at 11:32 am

            Since the first vote I have seen this as a power struggle and the RNs are stuck in the middle. I was so hoping that more nurses would vote with their heads and not their emotions on June 21st. I am disappointed in both sides.

          • Posted by Loving Aunt on June 30, 2010 at 3:18 pm

            I really think that the Minnesota nurses are going to be taking the fall for the California nurses. I think that the CA nurses are waiting for the MN nurses to strike and then see how much they lose. Then they will decide to stay on the job and the MN nurses and hospitals will have lost out. As someone who is planning on elective surgery on the 12th for a knee replacement, I will be happy to have replacement nurses who know what they are doing and are a happy lot!

    • TJ, I guess they will explain at the all nurse meetings today…would like to hear thoughts after the meeting!

  6. Posted by NoncontractRN on June 30, 2010 at 5:34 am

    Funny how MNA doesn’t list any specifics. What exactly did they compromise on and why isnt there a vote by the paying dues members if there changes/offers.

    • noncontractRN, we are posting a link to Children’s proposal which was rejected from MNA…..will post others as we receive or perhaps they will be available via the MNHospitals link on the right later today.

  7. Posted by nostrikenurse on June 30, 2010 at 6:39 am

    At least the MNA FB page does not delete controversial comments. You may not like to hear the truth and you might find some of the comments rude but your positions are not deleted. Can’t handle the heat eh?

    • Posted by drichmn on June 30, 2010 at 6:45 am

      your comment was deleted because it attacked another. Please read the Blog Rules. We take them seriously. I invite you to read through the blog post comments and you will see that differing opinions are part of the discussion as long as they are respectful.

    • Posted by drichmn on June 30, 2010 at 6:47 am

      by the way, commenters here have said that their posts offering a differing opinion on the MNA FB page have been deleted.

      • Posted by FSHRN on June 30, 2010 at 7:01 am

        Much as I like this site I feel that it has gotten a little “Delete Happy”. But hey it’s not my blog but with all the attention it is getting you must decide. Is it a place where we can sound off? With respect and no bad language. Or will it be like a church service? Either way I will continue to visit you have great info and I thank you. Sad how everything has to change.

        • Posted by drichmn on June 30, 2010 at 7:38 am

          depends on what you mean by “sound off”. Attacks on others? not in this place. veiled threats? not in this place. Wild speculation? not in this place. name-calling? not in this place. There are plenty of other places to go to do those things. It’s very clear by reading the comments that dissenting opinions are included as long as they are respectful.

          This blog was started primarily for nurses who had no place to express there disagreement with striking and with MNA’s tactics. It has changed somewhat but what has not changed is our commitment to treating each other with dignity and respect.

          • Posted by Leyla on June 30, 2010 at 8:43 am

            *clapping*
            I’ve seen the dissenting comments, and as long as they are done respectfully they stay put. I really appreciate too how those of us who are speaking up about crossing the picket line are doing so with respect. It would make me ill to see this turn into another MNA flame page (even if the flames were towards MNA instead of us this time).
            Thank you so much drichmn for your efforts in keeping it clean here.

      • Posted by Lori on June 30, 2010 at 6:57 pm

        I did stick up for a nurse having to cross the picket line on MNA FB, many negative comments followed, also my personal information was given out, I called HR right after the posting, we both looked and the postings and all comments were deleted. Anyone who chooses to speak out or question anything regarding MNA get a huge backlash on their FB page.

        • Posted by Not A Union Fan RN on June 30, 2010 at 7:52 pm

          Lori, I saw how you were ripped apart on the MNA FB page and your personal info was put on display….it was WRONG what they did to you….it was a total display of intimidation. I’m glad you reported it. I’m sure the hospitals are taking note of ALL of the bully type comments made on the MNA FB page. I saw one before the June 10th strike from a HUC saying that she “had a plan on how to deal with the scabs”…..that was a direct threat. It amazes me that people are so open on that page with their threats…..not too smart.

        • Posted by HHD RN on June 30, 2010 at 9:48 pm

          Hi Lori, I was also berated and attacked on the MNA blog site. They were convinced that I was someone else form FB, and they “outed” me. Very paranoid, very sad. I’m glad I found this blog. It’s good to know I’m not alone.

        • Posted by Anonymous on June 30, 2010 at 11:10 pm

          You should contact an attorney as those threats can be considered a cival rights violation if people are giving out your personal information and encouraging personal attacks!

    • Now that is a bold faced lie. I personally had one deleted. And all I was talking about was the MNA finances. Is that “inflammatory”? I was just stating facts and asking a question. But sometimes the truth is hard to handle.

    • Posted by inpatientlywaiting on June 30, 2010 at 9:32 am

      The MNA site does delete comments. I’ve seen it done

      • Posted by wildfox on June 30, 2010 at 5:56 pm

        Yes MNA deleted the post telling people about this blog!

        • Posted by Not A Union Fan RN on June 30, 2010 at 7:54 pm

          And why do you think that is? Maybe b/c union nurses are coming to this blog and learning things about MNA that they don’t want them to know???

  8. Posted by LoveMyJob on June 30, 2010 at 7:22 am

    Did anyone else see the quote by John Nemo in the Strib?:

    “Only 1 percent of our nurses crossed the picket line on June 10,” said Nemo, “and we don’t anticipate the number will be dramatically higher in the event of an open-ended strike.”

    Is he kidding? Not much was at stake with the one day strike but the anty has been raised with an open ended strike. Even going by the resignations that they’ve already received is misleading since many of you have said you were holding off until after the 6/29 negotiations were completed. The All Nurse informational meeting should be interesting today. It would be fascinating to be a fly on the wall… Those of you that are able to attend, let us know how it goes!

    • Posted by Tom on June 30, 2010 at 7:54 am

      I agree with you, ILoveMyJob. June 10 was not a “strike” so much as it was a “demonstration”. MNA upped the ante on June 10 but July 6 is an “all-in” bet. Sadly, the MNA is not wagering its own money; it’s gambling with the homes, families, professional reputations and livelihoods of its dues-paying members; the future of the hospitals where they are employed; the non-MNA co-workers in those hospitals; and the public trust. However this drama ends, I hope that MNA nurses will not suffer from short memories. It is time for you all to replace the MNA leadership and the local hospital union reps — at a minimum. This present negotiating model is not working for you or for those who depend upon you to work, care and collaborate with them on a day to day basis.

      • tom, I would really like to see how MNA is going to explain this one….the proposals are good in these times and the pension was to go untouched….if they strike I think they will be on the picket line a long time.

        • Posted by answer to prayer on June 30, 2010 at 8:54 am

          I have received messages from several co-workers since I decided to provide patient care on 6/10 that they are compelled to strike because of the longevity bonus and their pension. In light of the recent proposals to keep these intact, I hope these nurses are speaking their mind today at the all nurse meetings and telling MNA to be sensible. If no one is willing to speak up, then I am afraid the We Care for You signs need to be changed to We Care for our Union.

    • Posted by Linda R Larson on June 30, 2010 at 8:27 am

      The real number who crossed should be a percent of those scheduled to work not of all members. Not sure how many MNA nurses are working in a given day but that should be the number MNA is using. 1% of 12,000 is 120. That probably is the number who crossed but the percent should be much higher. Continue to be very careful with the twisted ways MNA is representing itself during this negotiation. If I understand the NNU stance correctly they make sure its’ members (now MNA) to NOT concede on ratios. This national agenda manipulating MNA and in essence mandating their response clearly means this strike is going to be very long. Long enough to hear back on the ULP which is doubtful to be accepted, long enough to make many changes in systems, processes, staffing. I expect we will see many things changing in the near future. This negotiation / strike is costing multi-millions to hospitals. The money bucket is not big so to survive this time changes will have to be made. Not sure why MNA RN’s supporting a strike are not seeing / accepting this fact. Lives have been and will continue to be changed. What we know now as our workplace is not what it will be in the future. It has already been noted that hospitals may have to close and programs/services consolidated. What we have left is our core belief that when we come to work we will provide the best care possible to our patients and their loved ones. We will evaluate how we do our work and find new and better ways to meet the needs. We will come together united and strong to create this place in history as a positive change for the profession of nursing and patients/families will trust that when they come to us for care they will be safe and cared for by an awesome team of care providers. Keep working together for this. It is easy to get discouraged but together we are strong and can make a difference. Thank you ALL!!!!

      • Thank you Linda…always appreciate your words of encouragement. Everyone, under contract negotiation on the right there is a link that will bring you to Children’s proposal which was rejected….it is sad to read and realize MNA does not have our best interests or our patients in mind.

      • Posted by lovenursing on June 30, 2010 at 9:14 pm

        the fact that MNA wanted to strike all along is in their 2009 tax return, look carefully and you will find money spent for all the billboards and signs, months before negotiations even began

    • lovemyjob, they are scared….and we have added to that!

    • Posted by wildfox on June 30, 2010 at 5:57 pm

      Nemo is not a nurse and has NO backround in health care. He doesn’t know what he is talking about.

  9. Posted by anurse20 on June 30, 2010 at 7:39 am

    I would love to go attend but I feel like my unit has a target on it’s back. I will see if one of my friends will go check it out with me later.

    • Posted by marygracern on June 30, 2010 at 11:24 am

      What a shame that some feel they cannot even go to get the information and ask the questions just because the work on a certain unit! Intimidation is alive and well.

  10. Posted by Supporter on June 30, 2010 at 7:46 am

    You guys are awesome! Your sisters and brothers are not limited to nurses – we are also the people who come to work in hospitals every day to support you and along with the entire community, we applaud your commitment to doing the right thing. You are the true leaders!

    • Supporter…thank you and yes we are supporting the patients and all the other staff that are affected by this strike.

    • Posted by RN4ptcare on June 30, 2010 at 1:40 pm

      That’s one thing that has seemed to be missing from the MNA updates is how this will affect collaborative services as well. I can’t tell you how proud I am of the care we provide and will continue to provide to our patients. God bless.

  11. Posted by anurse20 on June 30, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Should we not have been able to vote on any new proposal?

    • anurse20, that is a very good question….I hope it gets asked at the all nurse meetings today.

      • Posted by RN Husband on June 30, 2010 at 9:26 am

        Still surprised at the confusion about this but I guess that is MNA for you – there will be no more votes, the vote for an open ended strike gave MNA negotiators the final say on what would be accepted or rejected.

        • Posted by mom1 on June 30, 2010 at 11:10 pm

          RN Husband. Contract proposals will go out for membership ratification, the final say will be the membership. All proposals need not be voted on, typically it would be ones that the bargaining committee would recommend a yes vote to or possibly a last/best/and final offer that requires the membership to vote to accept or reject with the possiblity of a strike, mediators, etc.

    • Posted by wildfox on June 30, 2010 at 5:58 pm

      ABSOLUTLY! This MNA decision will cost them dearly.

    • Posted by mom1 on June 30, 2010 at 7:40 pm

      All proposals cannot go out for a vote, it would be unwise, unfeasable and not economical. Leadership was elected and trust was placed upon them to act on the nurses behalf. I’ve bargained in the past, one hour or even several hours is not enough time to wade through a proposal. The pension was only a recommendation and no solid deal. The committees almost never work. I’ve been on several as agreed to upon bargaining; no changes, no progress, just a waste of time and money.

      • Posted by drichmn on June 30, 2010 at 8:21 pm

        A recommendation? What do the words “no changes to the pension plan” mean to you?

        • Posted by drichmn on June 30, 2010 at 10:26 pm

          so who is it a recommendation to exactly and why wouldn’t it be followed? And if it is bargained separately then why did MNA roll it into the contract negotiations?

  12. Posted by drichmn on June 30, 2010 at 9:05 am

    new post up with letter from Children’s Hospital that has proposals that MNA rejected.

  13. Posted by Angie on June 30, 2010 at 9:06 am

    I am planning to send my resignation letter in on Saturday. Could someone tell me to whom at MNA I make it attention to? Thanks!

    • Angie….I have not seen anyone specific….since Monday is considered a holiday and post offices are closed please everyone mail so it is postmarked before Tuesday…so Saturday is the last day if you are crossing on Tuesday.

      • Posted by starrynurse on June 30, 2010 at 10:24 am

        could I be locked out if I don’t want to cross till after a week or so into the strike? do you know, are the nurses who do strike and don’t cross in jeopardy of losing their jobs in the long run?

        • starrynurse, don’t know about crossing after one week…contact your manager and HR. There has been much speculation as to the long term ramifications to this strike…there are many who think this may not be an economic strike…therefore we do risk being permanently replaced.

          • Posted by starrynurse on June 30, 2010 at 10:49 am

            I contacted Allina HR service center (after being directed there from United HR) and they said that Allina would welcome me back whenever I decided to return to work, and the rep gave me the # for the re-entry coordinator, who will make sure you have employee access, etc. it is: 612-262-2022. I also asked about signing the MNA resignation, can I choose to become a member again if I sign that form? The rep did not know but said I’d have to contact the union.

      • Posted by nomobforme on June 30, 2010 at 9:00 pm

        If crossing on Tuesday at 7am I would put in your resignation on Thursday so that it lands in MNA offices on Friday by 12 noon on a business day… I think that if you are going to wait longer than that the union leaders/administration might play games with you (it didn’t get there on a business day before the strike by 12 noon). I guess I am paranoid but I just think the longer you wait the more they could potentially play… And everyone has been “played” enough. I am going to resign tomorrow.

        On another subject: I was told today that union members are encouraging each other to take photos of nurses who cross the line. I think all of us who will cross realize that our co-workers who strike will find out who we are. I am going to cross like a rock star and ignore or pose for the camaras depending on my mood. If the strike is on we all will become public very fast- we can dodge cameras or realize we shouldn’t be hiding from them. In fact I think that some entrepeneur needs to start making No Strike for MN Nurses! T-shirts.

        • Posted by you have support on June 30, 2010 at 9:05 pm

          Wow you are brave but remember you are not alone. We will be there to support you – your coworkers! If you do run into any issues please contact the HR department.

        • Posted by neehow on June 30, 2010 at 9:53 pm

          I know most of the hospitals are working on offsite pick up and drop off for those willing to work. They are taking your safety and privacy very seriously. Communications will be coming out shortly and might already be out at some sites.

          • Posted by drichmn on June 30, 2010 at 10:24 pm

            I will be happy to post any communications from the hospitals that are sent to the blog email address.

    • Posted by drichmn on June 30, 2010 at 9:15 am

      The letter from Children’s in the “Resigning from MNA” tab lists the address and a sample statement but not who it should go to. I would think that “To Whom It May Concern” would be sufficient.

      • Posted by Angie on June 30, 2010 at 10:06 am

        Just to clarify, I know the post office is closed on Monday, if it is post marked on Saturday and the union does not receive the letter until Tuesday, that is acceptable? Thanks again!

        • Posted by goodnurse19 on June 30, 2010 at 10:08 am

          I am sending mine today, don’t want to risk it not getting there in time.

        • Posted by realityRN on June 30, 2010 at 10:41 pm

          It will be considered effective at 12:01 the day after it is postmarked.

    • Posted by anothernurse on June 30, 2010 at 12:11 pm

      speak to your HR rep

  14. Posted by inpatientlywaiting on June 30, 2010 at 9:29 am

    This song has been in my head all morning, made some changes thinking of you. I am not a nurse, but a Nursing assistant hoping to join the profession you are fighting so hard to keep full of integrity.

    “I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
    I keep my eyes wide open all the time
    I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
    Because you’re my patient, I cross the line”

    • Posted by goodnurse19 on June 30, 2010 at 9:34 am

      Bless you nursing assistant. We will welcome you into our profession with open arms. Stay strong, and keep doing the right thing.

    • Posted by anurse20 on June 30, 2010 at 9:42 am

      Love it thank you! Almost as much as I love our Nursing assistants, Hucs, housekeeping and everyone else who keeps the machine running.

    • Posted by WhyIsItSo hard on June 30, 2010 at 5:04 pm

      The last line would fit the music better if it were something like
      You’re my patient, I cross the line

      Great ides

  15. Posted by AFRN on June 30, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Very interesting and informative site. In order to remain open and honest I should first state that I will be honoring the picket lines as long as I am finacially able to. However, I did have a couple of questions for some folks here on this blog. One of my biggest questions is, “After this strike is resolved should the members (or x memebers) be entitled to the benefits that their co-workers fought and sacrificed for?” I admit I struggle daily with feeling of anger towards fellow co-workers who have used, or been protected by previous MNA negotiated contracts, who now turn up their backs on those same people when it involves some self sacrifice.

    • Posted by RN Husband on June 30, 2010 at 10:24 am

      >> After this strike is resolved should the members (or x memebers) be entitled to the benefits that their co-workers fought and sacrificed for?”

      There is no real choice here – when and if MNA reaches agreeements with the hospitals, RNs that did not strike have to work under the union contract and, as detailed by several in the Childrens memo thread, must pay $50 or so a month for the benefits.

      • Rn husband….and we will have to work for whatever the union has negotiated…but many of us ae willing to work with what they proposed….so we are also stuck with whatever we end up with…which will probably be worse than what they proposed last night…sad.

      • Posted by nomobforme on June 30, 2010 at 9:23 pm

        I voted no strike for the first strike and I still stayed home on the day of the strike for my friends at work who wanted me to. I wanted to believe that the one day strike was to show others we cared about patient care while still sending a clear message that the contract needed to be negotiated. I felt sick most of the day. Then the vote for a second strike came… Union PR leaders seemed to forget their first message to us that we all went out on a 24 hour strike to show the public that we cared about them. Now it was clear to me it was all about the MNA union leaders agenda. As I have stated before, the union leaders are supposed to be working for us and not us for them. As I saw my friends at work growing more and more saddened by the possible strike ahead and what it would do to their families and felt the sickness in my own stomach growing, I started questioning MNA leader motives at work and then it became clear that I should, for the sake and health of my inner self, cross the line.

    • Posted by answer to prayer on June 30, 2010 at 10:31 am

      I can not begin to tell you how much I have personally sacrificed since I decided to provide patient care during this strike; lack of sleep, lost friendships, postponed vacation, etc. I don’t believe anyone is coming to their own personal decision regarding this matter lightly, including you AFRN, so I would respectfully ask that you not belittle others decisions. I have to ask, what benefits are you now fighting for when it appears the hospital is willing to concede on several of MNA’s proposals?

      • Posted by marygracern on June 30, 2010 at 11:00 am

        Im so sorry for the pain you have endured…it is a sacrifice! Others are here to support you! If you followed your conscience though you will look back and always know you did the right thing. I agree that no one has a right to belittle the decision of others regardless of whether or not they strike. What gets me is those who don’t even know the issues, ask the questions or evaluate the information…I am bothered by our so called “colleagues” who don’t think for themselves, learn for themselves and make a conscious decision one way or the other…those who are just sticking their head in the sand and going along with the crowd…that is what bothers me the most. Personally I cannot abandon patients. Morally, ethically or professionally. But if someone on the “other side” has clearly and conscientously thought out their decision and based on factual information and their own values decides this is worth striking for then I can respect that.

    • AFRN, as I said somewhere else we are also stuck with whatever they negotiate even though we would like to vote on the proposal the hospitals offered last night.

    • Posted by marygracern on June 30, 2010 at 10:49 am

      AFRN,
      I think it is difficult for all involved..crossing is just as anxiety provoking as not crossing..just as risky too..
      .I think it comes down to this…There is no perfect contract…no contract now, in the past, or even in the future which will meet all members needs for all things. So, is what is on the table the thing you are willing to walk off the job for?
      I would argue that unless you have served in the military to protect your country that you enjoy the fruits of freedom without the sacrifice and work of those who do that in your stead, yet no one is forcing you to join the military and walk your post… Your question about members who do not strike benefitting from the sacrifice of others is the same…..why hold it against members choosing not to strike when they are following their conscience?
      It is an individual decision requiring a thorough individual evaluation. Each professional nurse must decide for him/her self the risk/benefit ratio and frankly be able to live with that decision for the rest of their career and the rest of their lives. Make no mistake this decision is not one to be taken lightly.
      So grateful for this website which provides accurate and balanced information…unlike what the MNA facebook provides and definitely unlike what the MNA reps provide. I am offered a sign but not a contract/proposal to review…my blind allegiance is not for sale. I can think for myself thank you. What the danger for the union is in providing its members with information is that they WILL think for themselves…

  16. Posted by RN hubby on June 30, 2010 at 10:19 am

    I’m not sure why the Children’s memo has two different dates (6/18 on header and 6/29 in body of text)…is it really that hard to do things the right way??? Seems like that is the moral of the story here. [Well said Tom (7:54 am)].
    The MNA needs the flame put to their feet. Was there a vote to go national? Having sat in on a meeting a couple weeks ago (more of a cheering session than anything else, until a 30 year nurse stood up and sobered the room by ‘scolding’ the nurses who seem to have lost perspective on what this is “supposed to be about—patient care”), it seemed to be less about information dissemination and more about rhetoric on the need for solidarity.
    What ‘we’ need is common sense, on both sides. Give-n-take, consolation, reason, and compromise are essential in an atmosphere that is as large as 14 hospitals and nearly 13,000 nurses.
    My wife works extremely hard and is very good at what she does. The last thing she wants is a strike. She wants to go to work, do her job, and be compensated for her efforts and expertise just as she has for over 10 years. This is a huge stressor on thousands of people and to say that it is ‘about the future of the profession’ is a lie; the contract is for 3 years, so what happens then???…

  17. Posted by Anonymous on June 30, 2010 at 10:28 am

    I am not a nurse but work at Riverside. I won’t list what unit I work for but I can tell you that the RNs that I work with are NOT overworked. In fact, the majority of them have time to stand around the desk, chatting and doing crossword puzzles from the newspaper. I know for a fact that some of our RNs plan to cross on Tuesday. I worry how the strike will affect the other employees here – NAs, HUCs, secretaries, techs, etc. Will our hours be cut?

    • Anonymous, I am hoping we can limit the damage done to other staff….but I am afraid this will affect many…the staffing people will not be working I am told as the command center will handle that aspect…so they could be out as long as the nurses…and they have no choice in this as there are many others who will be hurt.

      • Posted by acsofs on June 30, 2010 at 12:56 pm

        I’m wondering if patient placement/bed board will also be out of work then. Anyone heard?

        • acsofs, I am told that a command center will be in charge of employees coming and going so I imagine they could also be in charge of patient placement.

  18. Posted by PCRN on June 30, 2010 at 10:34 am

    I hear this statement a lot from MNA members AFRN. My question is what are you striking for? I strongly feel that not enough research has been done by many MNA members. I see the California model quoted frequently but California is bankrupt consequently hospitals will close, people will wait longer for care and jobs will be lost throughout the healthcare system. Acuity based staffing and collaboration with leadership is a viable alternative to “ratios”. Regarding the pension, the letter received stated that the pension is not “sustainable” in its current form. Keep in mind the hospital does not invest the dollars they contribute. While I am not happy with all of the hospital proposals, negotiation is necessary. MNA has no real interest in negotiating from what I can see..they are determined to strike and I have yet to understand the goal except they have an interest in a national union. AFRN…the original purpose of the MNA was a professional organization not a union. Some strides were made but they have not changed with the times and looked a the whole picture of health care. I cannot support the MNA in its current form. Should I reap the so called rewards? I would gladly resign if I can keep my dues and my job. I will be happy to gain a raise based on competence and excellence. I have been a nurse for over 30yrs, at my level from what I read there is not much the MNA gives me but they happily take my money.

    • PCRN-bravo! Very well said.

    • Posted by marygracern on June 30, 2010 at 11:17 am

      Well said! 30 years of experience and dedication to your patients and our profession are to be commended! Glad to hear there are others out there like me who recognize the union tactics have nothing to do with professionalism! At least not the kind of professionalism I want to be associated with. This very nasty public campaign has damaged our profession immeasuably. I remember over 20 years ago in nursing school a professor telling me that each nurse has her own practice…you can do this as a job or a profession, you can come every day and give your best or you can punch a clock and still get paid…each RN gets to decide the kind of practice they want. I don’t want to be associated with a “professional organization” such as MNA has become since it does not match MY practice.

      Collective bargaining does make sense to protect the work, pay, benefits, but it cannot be taken out of context,(current economic climate, health care reform) or be forced to produce something that would ultimately be the ruination of the profession and perhaps some of our hospitals…that is actually counter-productive! I have heard nurses say all they want is a fair contract…I don’t think “fair” is what MNA is asking for…more reasonable MNA members like you PCRN need to voice their opinion…senior nurses have a lot at stake and a lot to say yet are keeping very quiet. The senior nurses I work with say a lot on the unit but that is it…they are great nurses who really know what has been gained and lost in the contract over time yet they remain silent and allow others whom they criticize for their motivation and tactics and zeal to speak for them. Not me.

    • Posted by HHD RN on June 30, 2010 at 11:24 pm

      PCRn, I am curious about reading the research in regards to strict staffing ratio’s. Do you know where I could find it?

  19. Posted by relocatedrn on June 30, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Hello. Can i ask one question. I have been monitoring this board, the FB page and star tribune. I have heard nurses at times say if we lose the union we lose the protection on our license. I moved here from Arizona in May. When I started as a nurse the hospital said that we did not have to carry malpractice insurance because we were covered under the hospital policy. Is that not the same for every hospital?? Since I have not worked in MN yet I do not know the policy on this. Thanks

    • relocatedrn, the hospital continues to provide malpractice insurance for you even if there is no union. The “protection” is from your employer if you have a performance issue..the union protects your job and makes it difficult for the hospital to fire you.

    • Posted by Leyla on June 30, 2010 at 2:13 pm

      The union doesn’t supply insurance protection. I think they are referring to the protection offered by union representation. The union may possibly offer legal assistance, in addition to the hospital’s insurance/representation, if charges were brought against a nurse. I don’t know for sure that’s the case, but I did see a lawyer or law firm listed as an account on their 2009 financial statement.

  20. Posted by Not A Union Fan RN on June 30, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    May I ask a question that seems to never be addressed?

    Someone mentioned on the MNA FB page about the pay of the MNA administration.

    I have always wondered about that. Does anyone have any clue how much the “fat cats” in the MNA make? Why does no one question where the dues go to!!!???

    • Not a Union Fan RN, actually that has been addressed somewhere in our posts a few days ago.

    • The information has been ut out there. If Tom comes on, maybe he can respond to you as he seems to have found alot on the MNA financials. Glad to see you area taking an interest as it seems most pay little attention to these facts. I do know some make about $125,000 and the receptionist (Admin. Assistant) makes $58,000 I read in these blogs. YIKES!

      • Posted by HHD RN on June 30, 2010 at 11:26 pm

        Will these admin peeps be getting a paycheck while the strike is going on, or do they strike/go without pay as well?

    • Posted by Annette on June 30, 2010 at 4:37 pm

      ‘Anna Smith’ posted the six figures salaries of MNA admins’ on the MNA FB page, but only for a few minutes, then it was deleted, now the link dosent work … very curious. http://kcerds.dol-esa.gov/guery.

  21. Posted by RN'S Husband on June 30, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    There’s been a lot of posts on here about disagreeing comments being deleted. It’s really non sense. I know personally that this website has made my wife feel incredibly better about doing her job. And I’ve read multiple posts on nurses striking and nurses crossing. They have all been very respectful of each other. If you really want to get a sense of MNA’s attitude. Call them up. Ask them a couple of questions about crossing the line. Then go to your hospital and ask the same questions. Deleting and posting comments is one thing, but the disrespect we received from MNA was the ONLY unreasonable action.

  22. Posted by cjack on June 30, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    I work in a hospital affected by the strike in a non nursing role. My coworkers and I are fully in support of those nurses who make the difficult and brave decision to cross. We also understand if you come to the decision that you cannot cross. I know questions have been asked about MNA pay. It can be found on the Dept of Labor website here. http://kcerds.dol-esa.gov/query. Type in file # 053-683. The numbers are staggering. They are a much larger organization than i had pictured. When they said they were run by nurses I did not anticipate so many six figure salaries and so many non nurse employees, nor did I expect to see numerous admins making 55-70k. You can find the salaries about half way down in the document. They spent 40k alone last year on cell phones.

    Here are just some of the salaries listed, which doesnt include admins, consultants, or any additonal staff they have taken on since the ramp up to the strike: James Bialke 164k, John Lose, 129k, Andrew Calkin 128k, Maureen Kleckner 125k, kelli eiseshenk 125k, joni ketter 123k, elaine best 125k (plus unsecured personal loan with your union dues), Beverly Hall 124k, Jerry Hattala 124k, Scott Kleckner 121k (looks like he and his wife both get a good gig), Kathryn Kline 126k, Susan Mason 123k, kathleen olson 150k, maureen pechek 126k, lonna jean nelson 150k, lynette swanberg 135k, linda mash 119k, elizabeth shogren 139k, carol diemert 119k, cynthia shoenecker 119k, jan rabbers 120k, mary jo george 110k.

    This is hard to fathom these employees making this while the others are out striking without pay.

    • cjack, thank you for finding out how our money is being spent while many nurses are faced with being out of work for a long time.

      • Posted by cjack on June 30, 2010 at 3:38 pm

        no problem. In a time when decisions are very difficult for many of you and a lot of rumors are thrown around, I think it can always be helpful when factual and supported information can be provided.

    • Posted by wildfox on June 30, 2010 at 6:02 pm

      Not to mention PAC money/politicians $348,000, hotels, airline ticket, food in to the 100,000’s thousands in 2009!

      • Posted by wildfox on June 30, 2010 at 6:08 pm

        One more thing that really made me mad about MNA finances…the measly amount given to current MNA retiree’s. My neighbor is 87 retired nurse (1991) and she never has gotten a raise from MNA for years, she get $900 a month pension after working for 35+years for MMC. This doesn’t even pay her property taxes in a year, she had to go on property tax deferment. MNA needs to give some of their party fund sto current retired MNA nurses.

        • Posted by mom1 on June 30, 2010 at 7:49 pm

          MNA doesn’t fund the pensions, the employer and nurse do. This would be a bargaining topic and an excellent point illustrating why MNA could not agree to the employer proposals to drastically reduce pension funding.

    • Posted by wildfox on June 30, 2010 at 9:48 pm

      and MNA members still paying union dues as they strike to pay these outlandish MNA salaries !

  23. Posted by Nurses Who Care on June 30, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    Tom, I would also like to ask you a question and this is if the NNU strike fails in Minnesota because for example, nurses cross in numbers where the hospitals can function; what happens to NNU? Does their patient/nurse ratio nation wide push go away, or do they move to another state they represent nurses and try to move this sticking point through another contract negotiation.

    • Posted by Leyla on June 30, 2010 at 5:32 pm

      I personally think it was unwise of the NNU to push their agenda here in Minnesota. I imagine that, if they are effective, it will provide them with a lot of muscle to put through ratios in other states, and to motivate workers in Right-To-Work states to unionize. Unionization in the RtW states has been challenging to organize previously.

      Unfortunately for the NNU, Minnesota has excellent patient care and quite favorable ratios (it’s a rare unit within my hospital that doesn’t operate within those ratios on day/evening shifts already), so convincing nurses that things are so terrible that they need to strike is becoming quite a problem for them.

      • Posted by Cynthia on June 30, 2010 at 9:41 pm

        I work at one of the Allina hospitals and have a brother at a HealthEast Hospital. The Hospitals will not agree to the Staffing ratios, for a few reasons they know this is coming from NNU’s agenda, it will break the hospitals, there is no evidence the ratios improve patient safety. The hospital are willing to look at acuity as Allina offered last night. The have made it clear the staffing ratios are something they cannot accept, they will talk about everything else.

    • Posted by Tom on June 30, 2010 at 9:59 pm

      Sorry for the delay in responding, Nurses Who Care. I haven’t been on this page all day and it is certainly active!

      Just to be clear, NNU is a shadow-player in our local drama. They are certainly back-feeding MNA but this MNA’s contract to negotiate. Having said that, NNU has a lot riding on the outcome. From what I have read, NNU has already suffered setbacks in Massachussetts and California. However, I doubt that it’s “three strikes and you’re out”.

      This appears to be a very militant union group that is also affiliated with the AFL-CIO so I can only imagine that national union politics is in play as well and the AFL-CIO sees NNU as its own springboard into organizing other hospital-related employee groups. I suspect that there is money behind this effort and NNU has staying power.

      NNU is pushing its agenda on two fronts — through contract language and lobbying for state and national staffing requirements. They need to get a win in the “contract language” column and I am sure they will move on to other states until they succeed.

  24. Posted by Replacement nurse who cares on June 30, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    Are any of you crossing at Fairview Riverside? I was there on 10th and will be there again this time around. Would love to make contact somehow after strike begins.Thought maybe in addition to the green dot that was discussed, we could put our user names from here on our badge as well in order to identify each other. Any thoughts?

  25. Posted by adoctor on June 30, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    I am a physician in one of the affected hospitals. There has not been much input from physicians on this crisis. Obviously, we are employed by the hospital, but have to work with the nurses. Therefore most physicians are publicly neutral.

    However, every one of the physicians I have spoken regarding this crisis, who have actually studied the issue (many haven’t paid much attention), are uniformly with TCH and against MNA. Consider the following:

    1) the nurses are already paid well and have generous benefits (WAY above average).
    2) the staffing ratios are NOT unsafe. I see nurses frequently chatting, eating, and reading newspapers. Besides, TCH have proposed studying the issue further. A few “horror stories” played up by the media do not = unsafe staffing throughout the system.
    3) the techniques of the MNA (in association with the NNU) are frighteningly reminiscent of fascist-style group think. This strike situation has escalated so rapidly, and so many nurses have been caught up in it without any semblance of sanity.
    4) the economy is terrible, and health care costs are out of control. The timing for a massive strike couldn’t be worse. How can nurses be so arrogant and entitled at a time when many others (including physicians) are just glad to be employed even with pay cuts!!!
    5) the past 2 years have been very stressful just to keep programs and units open! This strike could very easily result in closed units, discontinued services, and MORE LAY OFFS. This is an outrage! Services have already been cut. AND THIS IS IN THE NAME OF PATIENT CARE?!

    Yes, I do blame the nurses, specifically the power hungry MNA. I will not be able to forgive the MNA if this results in more job losses for non-nurse staff, and closed services for my patients. Yes indeed I am furious, as are many many others.

    • Posted by Zoe'smom on June 30, 2010 at 5:58 pm

      MD, Thank you for your comments. I am crossing the picket line and am very embarrased by the union’s behavior. I am being shunned by most of my fellow RNs. I expect verbal abuse and damage to my car. What I want to ask of you is please say “hello” when you see me at work next week. It is feeling a little lonely right now.

      • Posted by RN'S Husband on June 30, 2010 at 6:26 pm

        Any verbal abuse or personal property damage, should NOT be tolerated. By either party. Every single one of you has the right to protect themselves and support their families and their patients. I pray no abuse or violent acts occur, and if it does to my wife, I will involve any police and lawyers needed, to prosecute the guilty parties to the full extent of the law. Harassment, disrespect and downright stupidity will not be tolerated. But in this day and age, it seems inevitable. I have already promised to stand with my wife, even if it means driving her to work and sitting in the car for an entire shift, through to the end. I will protect our rights, and I hope you all do the same.

        • Posted by Anonymous on June 30, 2010 at 9:12 pm

          RN Husband, you sound dreamy! 🙂 Way to support your wife!! I hope that the large numbers who plan to cross make it a much better environment this time around. The union tells how they have a blacklist of people who crossed 20 years ago — well maybe that won’t work so well if tons of people cross.

    • Posted by wildfox on June 30, 2010 at 6:10 pm

      MD thank you for your comments, we all agree with you.

    • Posted by marygracern on June 30, 2010 at 7:55 pm

      Thank you for your perspective. We have heard virtually nothing from physicians…I understand the desire to stay neutral, but even “no comment” is a comment…if more nurses believed physicians were not in agreement and were able to see the NNU for what it was perhaps that would make them think? Seems like the time has come to take a stand and voice opinions…We all have a lot to lose and being silent is condoning the actions. Grateful you took the time to voice it here! Thank you.

    • Posted by acsofs on June 30, 2010 at 9:50 pm

      adoctor – Thank you for visiting this blog and posting your comments. I’ve been wondering about the MD’s thoughts on this matter. I’m sure it’s been difficult to keep silent. Many of us walk around the units and say nothing to keep things professional and pleasant, so it’s wonderful to have this site to express how we really feel.

  26. Posted by followthemoney on June 30, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    I also have looked at the document of the disbursements of MNA, including salaries. It is always about the money and increasing power. You need a villain ( TCH) , You need the victim ( nurses ), and you need the savior ( MNA), So who benefits? The MNA wants more nurses to add to their roster, which is more money and more control for them. By controlling the nurse to patient ratio’s , it will force the hospital to have more nurses on their payroll which means more dues to the Union and more strength to the union with numbers. Where does Union money go politically? To the Democrats/Progressives. In this 53 page report, you can read who is profiting from MNA money. This is both historical and current. I would hope that the nurses would realize how much they are being manipulated by the MNA, just follow the money trails, although it is difficult to find them . Thank you for the link to the DOL site, those are facts.

    • Posted by wildfox on June 30, 2010 at 6:40 pm

      When I read MNA finances I was speechless. They should be investigated for inappropriate spending at least!

  27. Posted by Nurses Who Care on June 30, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    Please note the response to this article from it seems to be a nurse who supports MNA. I do not believe nurses understand the financial aspects to running a hospital and nor does MNA/NNU.

    http://www.medcitynews.com/2010/06/moodys-warns-minnesota-nurses-strike-could-hurt-hospitals-credit-rating/

  28. Posted by conflictedRN on June 30, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    ok, a couple questions for you all. maybe this should be on the “crossing the line thread”, but here goes. I work at North on a unit that is VERY union focused. I am considering crossing at some point. If I resign and cross, will my health benefits and job be safe, even after the strike? If I don’t cross what is the likelihood that my job will be eliminated? I am not high on the seniority list. I CAN NOT financially afford a strike and all I get from union-oriented co-workers is “talk to so-and-so about the strike fund” but on the MNA website it states “each member is financially responsible during a strike”. This is a very difficult decision and I am NOT happy that the union rejected the proposal last night. Does anyone have any North specific info regarding HR or their personal experience with possibly crossing. thank you all for your opinion!

    • Posted by drichmn on June 30, 2010 at 6:30 pm

      If you are thinking of crossing you should get in touch with your HR dept. There is also an FAQ about “tips if you want to work during the strike” in the FAQ’s tab at the top of the page. No one knows how the strike will affect any of the jobs including jobs of those who are not nurses. Our understanding is that there is no strike fund. The information from MNA was encouraging nurses to talk with their creditors, borrow money from friends or family, go to a food shelf…things like that. Somebody posted that when you’re working during a strike you keep accruing seniority but those on strike do not. Whether you resign or not you will be covered as far as benefits by the contract.

    • Posted by mom1 on June 30, 2010 at 7:53 pm

      I think a better suggestion is ot obtain a non-union job. It’s unethical to take both sides.

      • mom1, this is a site to provide support for those of us who do not believe striking is a way to solve the issues. Please leave this site or get off your soap box..otherwise your comments will be deleted. If you wish to debate…please go to the Star Tribune site…this is not the place.

        • Posted by anurse20 on June 30, 2010 at 9:33 pm

          @mom1 Let me take this one. What is unethical is playing with Patients lives and with my career. MNA should have jumped on that proposal last night. Why did they reject, Cause the NNU has wanted a strike all along and that is what they are going to get. The biggest strike in history.
          Also if I may add this is not the union I joined 15 years ago! That union supported nurses interests and help raise the practice of nursing. This union is all about bullying and trying to run the hospital. So mabey we should find a new union because I know my employer would rather they go then I. Have a nice evening and blessings

        • Posted by anurse20 on June 30, 2010 at 10:28 pm

          I have resigned from the union and I would have gladly taken that contract last night. Not to be funny but when there is cake I eat it. Good evening.

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

          easy for you to say but you don’t speak for everybody. And it’s not up to you to judge anybody who is conflicted about what to do. Nor is it up to you to tell anybody else where they should seek employment. For most people whether a hospital is union or not doesn’t factor into their decision to accept a job. Although, with the way the union is acting now that might not be the way it is in the future.

        • mom1, perhaps those who are so unhappy with their jobs should find another place to work….many of us are happy with where we work and are simply standing up for ourselves.

        • Posted by conflictedRN on June 30, 2010 at 10:38 pm

          thank you for your opinion. please understand that there are many of us that are torn between our patients & family responsibilities and the union. I do appreciate being part of a union and all that it represents. What I don’t appreciate is the apparent misrepresentation and “strike-focused” mentality. Why should many of us fear retaliation for choosing to do our jobs during a difficult time? Many of my family and friends have cautioned me on what could happen if I cross. Who will pay my bills during a long strike? This is not the economic time to strike, we owe it to our co-workers, employers, patients and community to continue to provide the best patient care we can. No contract will be perfect, but the ones that were offered last night were really fair. I have worked for non-union hospitals before, but chose to work at my current one because of its reputation and the particular position offered. I welcome any feedback and the flow of ideas. Now why can’t the union?

    • Posted by Angie on June 30, 2010 at 10:46 pm

      To conflictedRN: I am also at North and understand your isolation, as I am also on a very “pro-union” unit. You are NOT alone. There are only a few on my unit planning to cross, I only can pray that after last night, more will come to see MNA’s real agenda. I have written my resignation letter to the union and I look forward to seeing co workers in the hospital on July 6th. Stay in touch here, we are all a support to each other!

      • Posted by conflictedRN on June 30, 2010 at 10:55 pm

        to Angie: Do you know more specifics on North? Have you approached your NM, is that person supportive? Have you received any retaliation? What are your thoughts on working a “pro-union” unit? Does North have a phone line to cross? did you contact HR? sorry for all the questions, I just don’t know who to approach at work about this and need to make the most informed decision I can and relatively soon!

  29. Posted by PCRN on June 30, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    I have just read the North Memorial proposals to MNA. If anything were to prove my point it is MNA’s rejection of the settlement offer. I have written my resignation to MNA. Words escape me right now. I look forward to working as many days as North will allow me during this pointless endeavor.

  30. Posted by conflictedRN on June 30, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    where did you find that? also, can I resign from the union during the strike (and then cross) or does it have to be before the strike begins regardless on when one crosses (day one, ten or later)?

  31. Posted by PCRN on June 30, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    conflictedRN- on mail at North as well as on this blog homepage. I truly do not know about resigning after and then crossing, that would be a good question for HR and your nurse manager.

    I would like to thank the author of this blog and all those who write. It has been a breath of fresh air and very informative.

  32. Posted by Lori on June 30, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    There isn’t any regard to how this will effect clinic RNs, LPNs, NA, support staff. Many of these hospitals are still cutting back, this strike will stress the system even more causing layoffs in the clinics. I work at FSH but also in a PN clinic, these clinic people last year did not get a pay increase, and some were even laid off, I even had to take a 2 week furlough, while MNA still did get an increase. They are facing further cuts now with the strike. I know this is not all MNAs fault, but they have yet to comment/acknowledge on how it will impact others in the system or not in the system such as vendors ect.

    • Lori…there is nothing I can say except that many of us are so sorry this is happening and affecting so many.

    • Posted by FHSRN on June 30, 2010 at 9:26 pm

      No lori they just want you to loose your home and grocery shop at the food shelf. Sorry I could not resist. BTW great job sticking up for the nurse with the sick child yesterday. We will all be fine but most important our Pt’s will be fine.

  33. Posted by relaughter on June 30, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    Yesterday, I sent my certified letter to MNA-a mere $5 that puts my mind and heart at ease. If it would have been so easy; I would have done it sooner. One suggestion I have though for any one considering to do the same; have your signature notarized. That way, there is no question regarding your identity in the bargaining unit.
    Also, Friday is payday and already, payroll adjusted my MNA dues for July to the newer rate as a result of my resignation. Yeah, an extra few $$ in my pocket which will help pay for all the Zantac I have been chewing on for the past 2 months!
    I am so glad to be a part of this professional blog and feel the support so strongly both through faith, through kindred spirit and the belief that our patients and families are the reasons we chose nursing.
    I am also letting you all know that I really feel stiffled while on the job and not being able to state my decision. I would be black listed and isn’t really a violation of my civil rights by not being allowed to have free speech without the fear of retaliation? The power of the MNA chairs and influence of the union has drove me to be a minority and cross. But I will be proud to do it and will continue to provide the best nursing care that I have been trained for. That’s my statement of independence!

  34. Posted by Terribly Uneasy on June 30, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    I sent my resignation notice to the union certified mail today after my shift. Last night the propsals the hospitals brought back in pension, logevity, all of it would have made for a good contract. THE UNION REJECTED IT!!!
    I can’t do this anymore. I’m working next week I called the strike line. I also took my sign out of my yard. MNA is not me. I am not MNA. I realize I get whatever they settle and I still pay dues. I’m not ashamed of my decison. My head is up. I am smiling. I am an Allina nurse. I am glad to be a working part of the team at my hospital.

    • Posted by you have support on June 30, 2010 at 8:25 pm

      Your coworkers thank you for being part of the team and will be there to welcome you.

    • Posted by starrynurse on June 30, 2010 at 8:29 pm

      I totally agree with you, so angry at them for rejecting the contract. But couldn’t get though on the strike phone line–must’ve been tied up all day, but that is a good sign! I also work for Allina, not MNA–and don’t want their control over me any longer. I’ll work the strike with the contract we had with my head held high.

  35. Posted by followthemoney on June 30, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    I work at Allina and have seen the offers that the hospital gave and the proposals they took off the table as of last night. I do not see anything in there that needed to go on strike for. The first vote we took, where we were only given a choice to accept the contract or reject it and accept a 1 day strike, showed exactly where the MNA/NNU wanted to take this. . Then The entire set up by the MNA on the morning after the strike at Abbott with the MNA agitator arguing about the so called ” lock out”. The employers had been very clear that the nurses would be called back to work , so not to show up unless called back,. The Union told everyone to show up on Friday morning and not listen to the employer. I was asked at work who to listen to, because they contradicted each other. I said of course your employer, he is managing the hospital, The Union does not run the hospital, Unfortunately, nurses are not thinking very logically and being driven emotionally by the MNA, so they did what the Union said to do and played right into their hands with the media filming it all the way and playing only those parts that portrayed the management as being the bully. So my point is : this strike is going to happen no matter what the nurses say now, the question is how far will it go and how many will go with it. I would like to ask the question that when it is done, what will have ben accomplished? What damage will be done? As I understand it , the MNA holds firm to them totally controlling the staffing ratios. So are our working conditions so bad that a strike is necessary?

    • followthemoney, I think the strike will be very long and some nurses will go until the end but many will come back to work after a few weeks. The strike will do alot of damage to many and I don’t think we will ever see a better contract than was offered last night. And no our working conditions are not so bad that we should be striking.

      • Posted by nsewhostays on June 30, 2010 at 10:11 pm

        I agree that if there is a strike, it will be long. I am a non contract RN who is working to make sure patient care is safe and high quality for the duration of the strike. I so appreciate the nurses who were there for the one day strike, and those who have contacted me to say they will be there for patient care if a second strike occurs. This is not about money for them- they have a genuine ethical problem with what they are seeing and will not abandon their patients for the short or long term. I am proud to call them friends, and colleagues. This is a professional “moment of truth”. What do you really believe? Fear of retribution from your co workers should not dissuade you from doing what is right in your heart. If nurses band together who believe in the same things- there will be strength in numbers and conviction. Meet negative glances, comments, or actions head on with a “back off” mentality and response, professional-but strong. “Friendships” may be redefined through this, but knowing the truth about people is also important. The damage that will be done to nursing through a protracted strike should not be underestimated. The public trust is already been shaken, and there will likely be RN job changes or losses as a result of an indefinite strike, as happened in 1984. Are things really that bad to justify all of this?

  36. Posted by followthemoney on June 30, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    starrynurse, I just saw a post on the MNA facebook site saying that as a tactic, they could tie up the strike line with a lot of calls so others could not get through. I got through this afternoon with no problems. Keep trying.

  37. Posted by AllinaCommonsWorker on June 30, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    Thank you to all of the Allina nurses who are making the decision to cross the line. I do not work in the hospital so I do not know what the actual conditions are on the units, but the contract offer last night seemed like a fair deal. Every nurse that crosses means fewer layoffs and fewer programs being eliminated. The next 3-10 years will be challening enough without a strike, our system is looking at about $500M in Medicare and Medicaid payment cuts.

    • Posted by Susie Q on June 30, 2010 at 9:11 pm

      I too work @ Allina Commons and want to thank all of you for following your convictions and doing what is right for you. This blog has been a haven of sanity in the midst of chaos. My faith in nurses has been renewed. Please know while we may not be there physically to support you; all of you will be in our thoughts and prayers.

  38. Posted by anrn on June 30, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    Wondering if anyone has gotten a comment deleted by mna facebook page. Wondering if my comment was deleted, or if I mistakenly did so somehow?

    • Posted by Linda R Larson on June 30, 2010 at 10:21 pm

      I am blocked from the MNABlog site but have never gone on the facebook page. I have used three different names and got on a couple times with my second name LRL but now again am blocked. Got very hateful comments especially from someone called MNA RN. I asked for that person to identify themself and where they work since they asked that info from me and I identified where I worked – hospital and department. I never saw the answers to my questions. I really just wanted accountability for nasty behavior. So thankful to have this site to post on. Sometimes I just have some thoughts about what is happening that want to come out!!!

  39. Posted by Phil on June 30, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    I have had many nurses, as well as support staff, in my nursing department voice their concerns to me about working during the strike. I respect their questions and their voices. No matter what their opinions are, I let them know that I respect them as a person and they need to do what’s best for them, and not to let anyone pressure them into either side. They have been very appreciative to have a safe/supportive environment. I do let them know that there is another voice (this web site) if they are interested. (Thank you very much!)

    It is a tense time as nurses on both sides have fears and worries. I think that as the days go on, everyone will need to be thinking about how to take care of themselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Maybe take a walk, watch a movie, try to get enough sleep, and you get the point. We are not responsible for others’ behavior or others’ anger/ unforgiveness towards us- we are only responsible for our own behavior.

  40. Posted by Non-Union Professional Allina Nurse on June 30, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    I am a non-union Allina nurse who will be supporting the safety of the Allina patients and those nurses caring for them. I look forward to meeting and working with those of you crossing the picket line in whatever support capacity I am assigned. I too in a previous union votes opted that if the vote was to strike I would cross the line as I felt not crossing would pose me an ethical dilemma (fortunately none of the votes resulted in a strike). I am proud to be a nurse when I read of your dedication and compassion as professionals supporting the patients you care for. You have renewed my respect for nursing. Thank you and it will be an honor to support you and our temporary nurse colleagues.

  41. Posted by TJ on June 30, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    Here is a bit of an oddball question: My fiance is not thrilled with the strike but I can’t convince her to cross the picket line after the brutal ways MNA skeptics have been treated but she hates the idea of picketing for MNA just as much as crossing the lines. What is she obligated to do? I’m sure MNA will start screaming about bylaws for members even though they refuse to use them (ANA/NNU debacle). Is she obligated to picket or can she just stay home and avoid humiliating people that made a tough choice?

    • Posted by drichmn on June 30, 2010 at 11:47 pm

      I think she is obligated to picket if MNA requests it. I believe that she would be subject to discipline from MNA if she refuses. That’s why we are suggesting that nurses resign before crossing the picket line. She would be very surprised at how much support she will find from coworkers and other hospital staff if she does decide to cross.

  42. Posted by anonymous on June 30, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    I dont mean to be tacky or over the top but i have had several people ask me about this. There are several sites that explain this. This is just one link. Are there other Unions that could better represent us?

    http://www.unionfacts.com/articles/memberDecertification.cfm

  43. Posted by Former MNA nurse on June 30, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Wow, this is a repeat of the huge nursing strike in MN in 1984. One big difference is we didn’t have a great blog like this back then (did we even have email?) (Thanks to those who set it up!) And in those days the union seemed h*ll-bent on striking, no matter what. Same today, only the stakes are higher. I think the older nurses will not come out of this well, unfortunately. You would not believe how grateful I am that I am no longer under MNA contract! I worked during that 80’s strike and would love to help out with this one (in L and D), but am limited to weekends because of my job during the week. So far the two HR depts I have talked to have not been interested. I’m sure they are looking for a bigger time commitment. Anyhow, I support all nurses crossing the picket line.

  44. Posted by Concerned Bystander on June 30, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    Really? Do you really want to throw out that accusation? Are you really that uninformed about what’s happening? I’m not a nurse or a manager, God bless them all. I’m a mother of 3 young children, a patient, a sister to a nurse manager and a doctor, and a close friend to many union nurses. The public’s job is to educate and support ALL people involved; because both “sides” as the media puts it, are our friends, relatives, neighbors and customers. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t taken a paycut, benefit reduction, or worked more hours to help their business, employer, employee and families survive the economic turmoil of the past 2 years. It takes everyone working together and everyone giving just a little to make it through these times. From my outside perspective, which I’ve tried to make from as informed a view as possible, I don’t think the MNA is being clear to their members as to what the hospitals are offering. I also don’t think the nurses are taking the time to make themselves informed, because if they did, and if they had any influence on their representatives, it wouldn’t come to a strike. God bless you all and we are praying for all parties involved – including the families and the nurses, the businesses who will be hurt by the strike, the doctors and administrators, the replacement nurses who are being trained as I type, and finally the patients and other hospital workers. Go Twins!!!

    • Posted by Concerned Bystander on June 30, 2010 at 11:48 pm

      Can I clarify that at the start of my comments I was sarcastically responding to someone accusing a writer of being a Fairview Manager and basically daring them to “come out and show their face”??

  45. Posted by Not A Union Fan RN on June 30, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    Hearing all of you express yourselves and be free from oppression makes me tickled pink. So proud of those making such important decisions to resign. I’m glad to see so many people taking an active part in researching for themselves how they feel about the MNA and union issues….and making a decision about it. It’s refreshing to see. Good luck to everyone that crosses……you will be in great company!

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