Open discussion

Talk about any subject you want but please keep it respectful.

Update 7/4. This is an excellent article from the Sunday Star Tribune about collaborative negotiating that references the MNA/TCH contract negotiations:

Great leaders forge the way to win-win solutions for all parties

Since most (hopefully) people are enjoying the 4th of July weekend with their families and the comments are down we will keep moderation before posting going through the weekend.  We will check in periodically to review and approve (or delete those not following our blog rules).

Happy Independence Day weekend!  So kick back, have a beer and a brat, and enjoy the parades and fireworks displays around the Twin Cities.


52 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Replacement nurse who cares on July 3, 2010 at 9:40 am

    I think it is pretty significant that this Independence Day you are all celebrating the rewards of thinking INDEPENDENTLY of the MNA, having the courage to act on it by standing up for patients and what you believe is right, all in the face of adversity. You are heroes! Thank you!


    • Posted by nursingmn on July 3, 2010 at 12:09 pm

      I am very proud of you all for keeping your wits about you and worrying about the patients rather than the politics. IMO the union used staffing ratios as a classic door-in-the-face issue. Sadly, there ARE real staffing issues that do need addressing, but thanks to the MNA’s negotiation tactics, it will be harder to address them in the future. But for now, let’s hope the vote goes off well. I look forward to see you all back at work, doing what matters: taking good care of patients. Thanks for all you do.


  2. In the Strib today,” Last week the MNA said only 55 members had resigned since March”–I would like to know that number as of 7/1. As for the vote next week, the reps have been running around telling members to ratify. So, if that is what the MNA ( not necessarily the membership) wants, then it shall be so. Because we know who counts the votes! LOL There definitely need to be some changes made as I do not want to live this again in 2013 . Where to begin is the million dollar question….get rid of the NNU and get back with the ANA may be a starting point.


    • After the vote next week we need to look at our future and find ways to make things better for our profession and our patients. These last few months had a profound effect on so many people. I, too, do not want to go through this in 3 years.


      • Posted by wildfox on July 3, 2010 at 10:48 am

        We need to try to elect MNA personel that has the best interest of the patients at heart, be fiscally responsible to members/pensioneers and who will be willing to advocate for a NO strike clause in the contract.


      • Posted by acsofs on July 3, 2010 at 11:16 am

        “So, if that is what the MNA ( not necessarily the membership) wants, then it shall be so. Because we know who counts the votes! LOL”

        So true. But good to hear because I’ve been hearing from those who want to vote NO in protest, and wondering if all the resignations could come back to bite us.

        Have a safe and wonderful holiday weekend everyone!! 🙂


        • Posted by Phil on July 3, 2010 at 5:01 pm


          Like many here, I had my letter in an envelope ready to be mailed to MNA. However, when I heard that the strike was called off, I decided to go ahead and vote on July 6.I think there may be more nurses who waited until the last hour.


    • Posted by RIddell on July 3, 2010 at 1:43 pm

      Rumor has it that over 200 nurses from Allina alone had signed up to work by end of business on Wednesday….that’s an impressive EARLY pace. At that pace, if MNA didn’t agree to the contract, we’d probably be witnesses to death by attrition.


  3. Posted by Linda R Larson on July 3, 2010 at 11:50 am

    There continues to be conflict evidenced on MNABlog. Many are saying no to ratify the contract. Others are saying good for our union – vote yes.. Many comments to say it must be about the money since staffing ratios were totally pulled out. Still lots of anger at MNA for what they have done.
    I tried to add what I truly believe is the reason for the change in MNA by posting the statement below on MNABlog but since my posts are typically pulled from that site- thought I would post here too.

    LRL // July 3, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Reply
    Do not deny the power of the nostrikefornurses blog. MNA was losing members and there were hundreds planning to work. That must have been the force that caused MNA to ‘cave’. Nothing else could explain the dramatic change in their message.

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.


    • It was the power of all of our voices…. I don’t care if MNA wants to take credit for it all…as long as there is not a strike we save the patients.


      • i am a nurse working at one of the MNA hospitals. Throughout this whole ordeal, I tried to look at both sides of these issues as objectively as I could. Does it occur to you that this wasn’t about patient ratios, but that was used as a passionate bargaining chip to save the real benefit, the pension, which for the hospitals, has become very expensive? While Nostrikefornurses undoubtably pushed MNA to settle the contract, it was the vote to strike by passionate MNA members that helped put all the concessions back into the contract.

        I applaud the contributers of this site for remaining civil and postive. I would love to see this blog remain active to help shape the MNA agenda the next three years. It is regretable that most wish to remain anonymous, but perhaps with growing support, that won’t be necessary in the future. it would be best to find common ground with the MNA to reduce the divisiveness that has resulted.


        • The goal for us posting on this site is not to strike….it is not our purpose to bust the union as so many have thought. I believe if we took the threat of striking off the table we could come together and do great things. Many of us have stated many times that we felt we are putting the patients in the middle and we refused to do that. Those who chose to strike also felt they were doing what is best for the patients. We all have the same goal….to care for our patients safely…we just don’t agree on the process.


        • Posted by TC on July 6, 2010 at 7:21 pm

          I have always believed it was not about the pt safety. In the beginning all of the pamphlets and flyers stressed about the changes the hospitals wanted to make to the pension. We even had stickers and flyers that said POP Protect Our Pension. If this fight was about pt safety then shouldn’t POP have stood for Protect Our PATIENTS?


          • Posted by MNPharmGal on July 6, 2010 at 10:18 pm

            At my hospital, the buttons and stickers suddenly turned to “Protect Our Patients” once the word started getting out about the staffing ratios becoming the central issue. However, last week some of the old “Protect Our Pensions” buttons surfaced again, after news of the deal was made public. I thought this was very interesting, indeed.


    • Posted by ilovemyjob on July 3, 2010 at 10:57 pm

      Did anyone ever pursue the legal ramifications of MNA’s alleged illegal resignation from ANA? I believe someone had mentioned that ANA wasn’t looking to take action, but maybe that’s where union members can start. Maybe the nursing community has some legal rights, to force the issue about who we want to align ourselves with…at least get our fair share at an educated vote. MNA has done some wonderful and noble things for our profession in the past…but this year, the NNU turned them into a monster. Together they fueled anger and hate within the hearts of our nurses. So many of the comments and behaviors demonstrated amongst these “caring” and professional people were destructive and despicable. Never before has the nursing profession taken such a hit as far as public perception and support goes. I, for one, would love to see them break from NNU, get some sensible leaders and realign with ANA or some other appropriate outlet. Someone on MNA FB posted a link to the actual agreed upon new contract. If I remember correctly, the last paragraph had something to do with MNA rescinding ULP’s against the hospital, along with the hospital rescinding ULP’s against MNA. It also denied them the right to pursue any federal litigation against the union. I wonder if the hospital used this situation to somehow strongarm the contract acceptance. Who knows… It probably was just the huge numbers of member resignations. I’m just curious though. Something major had to have happened. They were plannning the big July 5th rally at Midway Stadium that morning and by 3:00 pm, they dropped staffing and called it a day. Crazy!


  4. Posted by LoveMyJob on July 3, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    I was going to be working long hours every day this week-end if there had been a strike. What a gift this time is now!


  5. Posted by Angie on July 3, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    It will be interesting to see the final count on Tuesday…I can’t imagine it would not be ratified. Next order of business, bring back ANA and find out if there is a way to get rid of NNU!


  6. Posted by akabrowncat on July 3, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    Wondering just how many letters of resignation arrived to MNA before 1500 on Thursday–I know mine did. I would like to believe those letters had some influence in the final hours. I called MNA the next day–they will send me a membership application by mail, but I cannot vote on Tuesday–too bad, because mine and others would be “yes” votes–can only hope it is not so close as to affect the outcome, but I will attest to an air of jubilation on my ANW unit at 1500 on Thursday. I feel there will be a wide margin of votes to ratify. Nearly everyone at work had been suffering from strike fatigue and a sense of dread, and the turnaround was dramatic–emotional. I feel that the final analysis will be consistent with what many of us here have felt all along–that each side finally acted on their duty, on the realization that a strike would mean economic ruin for both sides, as well as a major let down for the public—the members of all HMOs served by TCHs. And, as individuals, we who revolted against a strike acted out of duty to our patients. Definition: “Duty is a sense of moral commitment to someone in the form of action that involves sacrifice of immediate self interest.”

    “…when you talk about destruction, don’t you know that you can count me out..” John Lennon, “Revolution”


    • Posted by acsofs on July 4, 2010 at 1:03 am

      Could this site set up a poll to get some idea how many RN’s resigned from MNA since March, and also how many RN’s were planning to cross picket lines on their first scheduled opportunity? It would not be completely accurate, but may be the best info we’d get.


  7. Posted by aconcernedmom on July 4, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Keep this blog going—over the next 3 years it could continue to serve a great need–from what I read on comments on ST/FB it rattled those to the point of conspiracy theories. You again, did an awesome job. Keep it up.


  8. I am in agreement with the above about trying to actively pursue separating from the NNU–the tactics employed were despicable to say the least. I think a poll on the resignations or/and crossings would be interesting. Drichmn/anurse–would that be possible? Lastly, can we keep this site alive awhile longer? Or how can we all connect to activley pursue some of the issues that need addressing? 🙂
    Happy 4th of July all !


  9. Posted by Zoe'smom on July 4, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Thanks to everyone for the support and information. Now that I have “come out of the closet” at work many others are too! I have resigned from the MNA and am proud of it. I have never felt ashamed to be a nurse but I was ashamed to be part of the nurses’ union. Some say if you don’t like being part of a union hospital then go somewhere else. I say we are an “INTEGRATED” hospital and if they don’t like it THEY can go somewhere else. I’d like a sticker to put on my name badge such as “COEXIST” or maybe “Real Nurses don’t walk out on their patients”. Any clever people out there know how to get this done?


  10. Posted by transplanted on July 4, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    The last CEO I met with on Friday said much the same thing I heard elsewhere – hospitals believed as many as 35 percent (the low end of the range) and perhaps as many as 50 percent (the high end) of the MNA nurses were prepared to cross – either immediately, or within a week or less. I can’t help but think MNA had to be aware of that, and had it happened, all credibility (as well as whatever “strength” they perceived themselves to have) would have been lost for them. Don’t ever think this blog didn’t have a huge impact on what happened at the bargaining table! Continued strength to all here!


    • Posted by wildfox on July 4, 2010 at 7:25 pm

      It would be nice if MNA would give the actual numbers of people who sent in resignation letters to MNA. I wonder if members can ask for this information. On MNA LM2 form for 2009 it states some type of information that pertains to this so it will be interesting to see the 2010 filings next March. I truly hope we can replace the current MNA reps with people who have the best interest of patients, members and pensioneers at heart in the next MNA election (I think it is 2011).


      • Posted by nursingmn on July 4, 2010 at 8:54 pm

        It is interesting how the MNA did not process resignation letters last week so that they could tell newspapers that officially only 55 nurses had resigned. I am grateful for this blog to get the nurses’ perspective; it’s sad that it got so misrepresented for a poor attempt to further the NNU’s agenda.


  11. Posted by bakingrn on July 4, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    I learned about this blog in the past few days and wish I would have known of it earlier. I have to say I am so proud of everyone who is standing up for their voice. I too did not want to strike and had been bullied by co-workers when I tried to stand up for myself at work. Thank you so much for providing a place for those who did not agree with the strike to voice their thoughts. I will be handing in my MNA resignation and joining ANA on my own thanks to the support from those on this site. Does anyone think we will ever know just how many resigned from the union? Would be interesting.


    • I think we all need to take a step back and think about our resignations. If we want to make changes you need a vote. Elections are coming up next year and maybe it is time for a change!


  12. Posted by transplanted on July 5, 2010 at 9:22 am

    I believe if MNA were to publish an accurate number or resignations, it would be damaging to them – hence, you will never see that number published. But I agree that remaining a member and using your vote to effect change is wise. Something should also be done about all the nurses who didn’t bother to vote, before. My belief is there was a large block of people who didn’t support MNA there, and if that block could be mobilized and added to the voices of the nurses who used reason and truly did put patients first, there would be enough strength to really make a change in MNA leadership, beginning with the union reps. Together, you are strong – and a would be force to be reckoned with.


  13. Posted by transplanted on July 5, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Sorry, meant to say an accurate number “of” resignations. Edema in the fingers, this morning, I guess.


  14. Posted by iresigned on July 5, 2010 at 9:49 am

    I appreciate the reasons stated in prevous posts ,that argue the point for voting in the future for change with the MNA. But until the MNA contracts with my hospital for a no strike clause, I will not be rejoining the MNA. This is such a serious matter, that I have choosen to stay ” resigned”. I do not trust the folks in the MNA/NNU operation at this point , period. My fellow RN’s need to recognize when they are being used.
    There is a pin, made by the MNA, with a picture of Florence Nightingale: “Florence would be mortified”. Well, after 40 years of nursing, I am mortified. The behavior of the nurses, my own generation included, have been behaving badly. The generation over 50 yrs of age(and there are still alot of us out there), do know that we are a profession and not just wage earners. Sorry but some one needs to say it.
    Florence would have been mortified to see just what nurses are doing in 2010. In fact I believe she would not even begin to understand this. . Many nurses in their fifties and sixties are carrying the legacy of nurses from the pre world war II era. Believe me when I tell you, what has been happening in Minneapolis, is not what the nurses should be doing and saying. The public knows this and our reputation now, is in the dumpster. The public perception STILL percieves nurses wearing their white caps , the symbol of :”I will take care of you”. Most nurses can not even relate to caring for people , when the cap was still worn.The symbol was powerful, because there was trust, immediate trust. We have damaged that trust now. Listen to the commentators and read the newspaper.
    Calmer heads need to prevail, and nurses have to stop behaving like longshoremen!
    Let’s find a way back to some dignity , before we do loose completely the trust of our pt’s, like I lost the trust in my professional organization.
    Does the end justify the means…I don’t think so.

    I also agree this blog should stay up. It may be the only place where nurses are able to demonstrate their honest views.
    Thanks again to the dedicated nurses that have started this, Florence WOULD be proud of you!


    • Posted by glinda on July 5, 2010 at 9:58 am

      Thank you. I am in the generation of nurses you mention. The white cap and nurses uniform generation. I agree our professional reputation is being sullied by the tactics we’ve seen employed. This is not the MNA that I know and I want to see them regain their former status.


    • I have to share a quote that a friend just shared with me: “Never doubt that a group of thoughtful, committed citizens
      can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
      ~Margaret Mead
      This blog will stay up and may be especially important as other hospitals will be voting in the year ahead and we will continue to need/provide support. Perhaps the no strike clause is the direction we need to fight? Something to think about….if we continue to use our voice maybe we can accomplish this?


  15. Posted by iresigned on July 5, 2010 at 10:24 am

    And so it goes. Live out what you believe. St Francis of Assisi in the 1200s told his followers:” Preach always. If necessary, use words.”
    Celtic monks “lived as they taught” by that simple and profound act, they changed their world. We Nurses with capital”N”, will restore our reputation by our actions. We do have to get up into the bell tower, ring the bell and use the words!
    We are all anxious to see this restoration.But it means doing the work. We should come together and accomplish this goal. A no strike clause is absolutely the beginning !


  16. I am looking at having stickers printed. I have found a website and think a 1.5 inch circle is a good size. I NEED input. I am not an artsy person! What do you folks think of a green background, similar to this blogsite, with white letters? I am thinking it could just say
    1. nostrikefornurses or
    2.Professional RNs Don’t Strike
    I am willing to pay for this but would like one person from each hospital to distribute them. Any contributions would be accepted to help share the cost but not required. Thanks


    • Posted by glinda on July 5, 2010 at 10:48 am

      hold that thought. Something has been in the works.


    • Posted by TC on July 6, 2010 at 7:34 pm

      I’d like it to say “Non-striking Nurses: We Care For You” because it would have been true and because MNA’s signs irritate me, so hypocritical.


  17. Posted by iresigned on July 5, 2010 at 10:45 am

    WOW!!! I vote for number 2!!! Professional RN’s Don’t Strike!! Love it . I will wear it! forget the stickers : I want a pin! Will pay what ever it costs!


    • I am hesitant to wear at work….I did not find it professional when co-workers wore their lanyards adorned with buttons so I a not sure these buttons should be worn at work either…and it will continue to divide us. We all want safe staffing…we just need MNA to realize there are many nurses who will not strike to get it.


      • Posted by MNChildrensNurse on July 5, 2010 at 5:12 pm

        I agree with you, nostrikefornurses. Doing this would only serve to continue to create a contentious work environment, and that would only continue to make the environment tense for nurses. That is not the environment I want to create at work. It’s time now to facilitate the healing of our profession.


  18. Posted by iresigned on July 5, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    So make the pin descreet , small and unobtrusive. Green back ground with:” RN “only on it. The green symbol alone would be the only statement. I was a little enthusiastic…I agree completely with you about the screaming buttons not being professional.
    Just acquaint yourself a little with the tactics by Saul Alinsky : Rules for Radicals.


    • I wonder if there are any RN pins out there with a green background…very professional without putting it in anyone’s face like the buttons we have been seeing. If someone finds where we could order online we could all get access to them and order them on our own.


  19. “Those who vote determine nothing, Those who count the votes determine everything.”
    Attributed to Josef Stalin
    Therefore, I am not sure re-joining the MNA to maintain my vote will help to bring about needed changes in the MNA policy/practices/contract. How can we reckon with this association which we feel is no longer a true voice of nurses as we want to be perceived? We the nurses need to become “the force” not the “MNA” as we know it today.


  20. Posted by iresigned on July 5, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    The problem now is that there are two voices for nurses.
    One that Dragonfly hears and most of us on this blog hear, and one that is heard by the MNA /NNU .

    We want to be considered the True Voice. The American public would agree with the Nostrikenurses voice .That is pretty clear. The hospital administrators would hope this is the true voice, otherwise they would be looking at a collapsed credit line as was reported by Mooney. Our nursing admininstrators would pray we are the true voice, how else are they able to maintain the highest level of care , without breaking the financial bottom line?

    Just like making a nursing care plan requires critical thinking.
    So does this.
    What is the very first step? Anyone out there remember?
    Make a diagnosis.
    What is wrong?
    The contracts in 14 hospitals are being leveraged.
    By what/whom? A virus, a bacteria, an idea, a philosophy, a political agenda?

    Let’s think about how to reclaim our voice.


    • I so agree that we do want to be the true voice! I wish MNA would see that they would have the public’s support and ours if they agreed to no longer bring striking into the equation. I see repeatedly people saying they won’t be told what to say or how to feel regarding the voting tomorrow….but yet they deny us that right by persecuting those of us who do not disagree with the goals, but disagree with how they were trying to acheive those goals.


  21. Posted by TC on July 6, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    I’d love to hold a peaceful protest with others who feel that they have no voice in MNA. Would like to hold it at at MNA’s office. Could put tape over our mouths and hold signs that say “No Voice in MNA”

    I have not resigned because I feel that to make a difference I need to have a vote. A vote to change leadership, a vote to change policies and a vote to make a difference.


  22. Posted by Tom on July 8, 2010 at 5:07 am

    The involvement of a federal mediator and the FMCS in the TCH-MNA negotiations has a long history and, I believe, was essential to the agreement that was achieved this month. I would encourage all who are interested in transforming MNA to read about interest-based bargaining. The link posted above is a good place to start.

    It is important for you all to know that interest-based bargaining was adopted as the preferred model by TCH and MNA more than 20 years ago. Over that time, grants from the FMCS have paid for significant training of MNA staff and hospital reps in this approach. In my opinion from what I have observed over the past two cycles of negotiation with TCH, MNA has moved off this model and back to a more traditional grievance-based, adversarial style.

    I am encouraged by the “hold on — something is in the works” remarks on this thread. Perhaps a place to start would be to make contact with the FMCS to find out what resources might be available to support and/or inform the next steps you might take as a group of concerned MNA members.

    I continue to believe that the most effective way to transform the future is to get effectively engaged with your individual hospitals — and to share what works with each other in a way that can help spread and transplant the kinds of changes that can make a difference. It’s pretty clear to hospitals, your fellow employees, other nurses, patients and the general public that what MNA has been doiong isn’t constructive, hasn’t worked and can’t address the core issues. It’s time to do something different . . . or MNA will just continue this insanity.


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