The path forward–

–or where do you want to go from here?

It was an intense two weeks for this blog focused on the issue of to strike or not to strike.  We’ve seen posts and emails from MNA supporters telling us it’s time to move on because the strike didn’t happen.  But none of the issues that lead up to the strike have gone away.

Penny and I and others are evaluating the path this blog will take going forward and we want to hear your views as well.

Tell us what you think.

UPDATE 7/15: Check out the Announcement and Save the Date!


UPDATE 7/27: Commentary in Star Tribune from MNA staff

Carol Diemert, Carrie Mortrud: Hospitals are not as safe as they claim

Update 9/17  Here is a link to a press release from the NRTW about nurses in PA who fought off CNA and their questionable practices. 

http://www.nrtw.org/en/press/2010/09/nurses-opposition-forces-union-opera

Update 10/29  This is a seminar at the U of M on Nov 8th discussing the effect of unions on hospitals…it is free and no rsvp needed.  Nurses and unionization seminar

Update 10/30 All nurse meeting at Abbott….here is the flyer  All nurse meeting

Advertisements

70 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by aconcernedmom on July 14, 2010 at 9:11 am

    The strike this time did not happen, but contracts will be up again. When one of the issues was leadership,patient safety issues–those will not end. While it does not have a fever pitch it did when getting to the end of the wire, keeping this blog going for not only research–work done in the blog roll–there are books, empirical data studies, papers like you have posted in your blog roll–that are very informative and personal reflections, interjections and opinions. You both put a lot of yourself into finding information quickly–now over time you can reflect and keep others informed about much many don’t think of on your time, not a time line. It only takes a spark to make a difference, don’t let yours fade.

    Reply

    • Thank you. We have every intention of keeping the spark alive! Although the blog may not be as busy these days we still have lots of work ahead of us.

      Reply

    • Posted by answer to prayer on July 19, 2010 at 3:50 pm

      I completely agree with you, a concerned mom, that these issues are not going away. Many RN’s I work with are still very angry and bitter that this did not go to an open ended strike and are already advising other nurses to prepare for another strike in 2013. This is unacceptable! Our reputation as professional nurses has already been significantly damaged in the public’s eye and our relationships with our fellow nurses, severely fractured. Enough! Most assuredly, the MNA will be galvanizing its support over the next 3 years and using its intimidation tactics to bully nurses into believing they must support the unions position at any cost. WE must quietly go about the business of affecting change through advocating for and partaking in constructive dialogue and collaboration with management.. But let’s not kid ourselves…even if improvements are implemented…the public will not be getting that message from the union until it gets what it is ultimately after. I believe it is time to speak out and form a collective voice to counter the unions claims and not only advocate for our patients, but also restore respect for the nursing profession.

      Reply

      • answer to prayer, if MNA starts running toward another strike they will run into us again and I hope our voices will continue to grow and become stronger. We may not have a vote but we can continue to let them know we will not support the direction they are going if they go toward another strike. We are supposed to be participating in interest based bargaining so heading for a strike should not be an option….it should be a win-win situation….not a win-lose. We already showed everyone we can make a difference even without a vote……and we will again! Hope all is well with everyone.

        Reply

  2. Posted by wildfox on July 14, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Where to go from here…We could gather a group of like minded supporters to construct a respectful health care platform and negotiation process to present to MNA. We could also start a petition of MNA nurses who back these new platforms to show MNA that their behavior during the last negotiations will not be tolerated again. If MNA rejects the ideas then it would be time to look for supporters to run against the current MNA reps in next years election of MNA reps. In the meantime we should start writing ideas down in our spare time so we will have a starting point in the event that we move forward with meaningful change. It would be helpful to have a copy MNA’s current mission statements or platforms. It sounds like alot of work but if we are well oraganized each person taking one aspect of the plan it will work! I have expierence as a community organizer, not for health care but have learned how to put together these type of activities and gain public support.

    Reply

    • Posted by Linda R Larson on July 14, 2010 at 3:49 pm

      wildfox,
      Would love to hear more of your ideas. There is so much positive energy to move this forward and many very talented people to make it happen. Thank you for your thougths. Hope to meet you sometime soon.

      Reply

      • Posted by wildfox on July 14, 2010 at 7:25 pm

        We can start with the issues that are important to the type of nurses that have been attracted to this blog. We can work on a positive dialog where ALL voices will be heard and respected, constructive negotiations tactics that include employers input, implementing social media expectations/changes that displays professional behavior and change the way things are reported from MNA (like the balloting/counting process, distributing false propaganda/information). It would be financially beneficial to see what MNA does with all the money they spend on lobbysts, politicians, travel, hotels etc…. and see if some of this spending can be cut so pensioneers can get raises, they have not got one for many years. We would need legal advise from an independant labor attorney regarding union responsibilities and general financial requirements unions need to meet.
        LOTS to think about…many more ideas….

        Reply

    • Posted by Not A Union Fan RN on July 14, 2010 at 8:49 pm

      When I hear the words “community organizer” bad thoughts come to mind 😉

      Reply

      • Posted by wildfox on July 14, 2010 at 9:18 pm

        What do you mean? “When I hear the words “community organizer” bad thoughts come to mind ” That is an insult. I have spent countless hours working with NO pay on environmental issues, wetland protection, clean water, forest preservation, endangered species etc… in our state so that future generations will be able to enjoy these things as we have. I assume you are talking about President Obama’s “community organizing” which he should be proud of too. Everyone benefits from these activities in a community …. it is hard work. Most people are sitting on the couch watching TV and complaining about the way things are instead of getting involved!.

        Reply

    • Posted by answer to prayer on July 19, 2010 at 7:02 pm

      Wildfox. I think the ideas you put forth are excellent. I believe forming an organization would be an excellent way to not only address the issues and talk them over, but actually get out there and affect change. My fear is that many nurses are simply burned out by all of this and will become complacent over the next few years. We must band together and advance our strong convictions now, through both words AND actions, or in 3 years, we will be right back in the thick of it. Let’s put together a strong, organized group, galvanized and ready to stand up and take action. Maybe we should come up with a name?

      Reply

  3. Penny,
    I am liking what I am reading on this site. I would really like to get more involved and willing to do what I can to help. We need to move forward and try to make the changes happen and not lose site of all that has happened the past months. Count me in. I believe you have my e-mail and may contact me if you want. Am up for meeting with all who want to work on this in person in the not too distant future…Ler’s make it happen! 🙂

    Reply

    • Posted by Dee on July 15, 2010 at 8:00 am

      Thanks. Save the August 19 date. We’ll be talking about our next steps and how to be involved.

      Reply

  4. Posted by anotherview on July 14, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    I think keeping the blog and movement going is really important. One way to get ahead of the game is to work within the hospitals on staffing issues in a safe, and respectful collegial environment. (as well as other issues) If that problem is resolved then MNA cannot strike over a problem that does not exist. It is not a simple as becoming a part of MNA as a rep or a chair. MNA trains for and expects certain behaviors from its reps. The reps and chairs and negotiating committee went to special training sponsored by specific “union” people to teach them how to “get to” the management; how to intimidate employees and how to ensure everyone falls in line. Review old school union tactics and that is the playbook that was used. It appears that NNU is what is fostering this but not being on the inside, I don’t know for sure. I just want a place where the nurses and managers can work together to solve problems and care for the patients and families in the best way possible.

    Reply

    • I couldn’t agree more about getting staffing off the MNA radar….in fact that was part of a discussion this evening as we were planning on a meeting for everyone. Info to be posted shortly.

      Reply

  5. Posted by Leyla on July 15, 2010 at 1:50 am

    There’s a few things I’d like to see.

    I think we need to keep an eye on how things are going with the Duluth MNA contracts and provide support for the nurses there who disagree with the union, especially if they end up in a strike situation too.

    I think those in support of this blog really need to work on getting onto the teams in our hospitals designed to look at staffing matrixes. It’s clear that we are very interested in collaborating with management to provide care for our patients. I’m worried that if these committees are only staffed with those who were wound up about the ratios that not only will they be ineffective, but they will serve to further harm working relations between floor nurses and management.

    I think this may be an excellent forum to discuss how those who are interested can run for representative positions. If we held the majority it would go a long way towards insuring that we don’t run into a potential strike situation, and that MNA is held to higher standards of professionalism (the facebook page is an absolute horror and caused untold damage to the reputation of nursing with the vitriol they allowed members to post).

    I think the blog may be a source of inspiration too. I’d love to see future posts submitted from nurses who are working to effect positive change on their floors. Stories which outline how collaborating with other departments improved patient safety. Or stories highlighting ways nurses improved outcomes.

    Reply

  6. Posted by kbell on July 15, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    keep me in the loop and I will try to make the meeting.

    Reply

  7. Posted by Zoe'smom on July 15, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    I received a form from the MNA Tuesday in regards to my resignation from the union. Instead of paying $58.00 per month the new cost of being resigned is $49.30 per month. It feels like extortion. I would like to see either the union decertified or Minnesota become a “right to work” state. Any thoughts?

    Reply

    • Posted by Leyla on July 16, 2010 at 9:31 am

      I’ve always referred to my “fair-share” dues as my extortion money. It’s what I pay them for “protection” so I can keep working. Just like the mob. Which reminds me. I need to resend that letter requesting a review of their finances. I should have sent it to the secretary treasurer, but just sent it to the main address. I’ve got someone from the NRTW Foundation who’s going to take a look at it and see if we aren’t being overcharged.

      Reply

      • Leyla,
        When I requested to see the MNA finances, I was told by MNA I would have to go to their office and they wold be happy to show me what I wanted. It apparently used to be on their website but was removed when the new website was built. The report can be obtained online through the Dept of Labor. The website was given on this site ( it was June 30th). Maybe that could be re-posted as I do not have it right now and cannot access that here any longer.The case number would be 053-683. I actually printed 2009 out but I left it at work. You will be amazed at where all the $$ go.

        Reply

  8. I am on board with wildfox also. In fact, I suggested if there was a pension hit, why can’t some of our own dues go in to help keep the pension fully funded and pull it out of the “danger zone” we received a letter about. Does anyone have a clue how much our dues go to finance lobbyists and their support staff? I was amazed when I looked at the financial report I pulled up through the website given out here. I asked one of our MDs how much lobbying do nurses need? He said he believed not much. So,why our we supporting this with our dues? He himself dropped out of the AMA as felt it just was not supporting what he believed. It is everywhee…politics….
    I also agree with “anotherview”. This cannot be tackled by becoming a MNA rep. If you believe that, you do not understand union tactics. My question is, how do we work with our administration and form committes without MNA sticking their nose in it. We (the reisgned) cannot be on any committees unless I am interpreting things wrong. Does anyone know anything differently?

    Reply

    • A problem with the union funding part of the pension….right now your membership does not affect your pension because it is totally employer funded. If the union funded it also then it could be affected if you are not a member of the bargaining unit ( those who resigned are members of the non-bargaining unit).

      Reply

      • Very true Penny. I did not think of that piece about how it is funded by our employer not the MNA…but the finances still need to be looked at. I just got to bloviating….

        Reply

  9. Posted by Angie on July 15, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    Will look forward to the meeting!

    Reply

  10. Posted by anotherview on July 17, 2010 at 7:56 am

    Addressing a non-MNA member being a part of a committee. It is true you cannot be a member of a LABOR MANAGMENT committee – those will only have MNA reps and members of management but there are many committees and unit councils (at ANW – non-MNA can be members of unit councils). I would imagine and hope that as we try to put groups together to solve issues, management will invite those who they feel will contribute. MNA will also select people for those committees but it should not preclude others from participating. I don’t have a definitive answer on how that will look but mgmt will try its best to ensure a wide cross-section of participation.

    Reply

  11. Posted by neehow on July 19, 2010 at 8:35 am

    I know the main focus was and probably still is on the Twin Cities, but I believe the Duluth area is now in negotiations. Is their a way to extend a hand to those folks?

    Reply

    • Posted by Dee on July 19, 2010 at 8:47 am

      The blog is open to all. I am interested in knowing more about the issues in the Duluth negotiations. If they would like information or support they can post here or send an email via the “contact us” tab.

      Reply

  12. Posted by quiltmom on July 24, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    I am a nurse at ANW working for Allina for 16 years at 4 of their hospitals. I could not strike as it was against my own set of values, philosophy and view of professionalism. I crossed the picket line and worked during the one day strike, did a double shift, nights to days. Because I did not realize that there was a clause in the contract describing the punishment tactics that MNA could take against a crossng member, I did not resign the bargaining unit. When it came time for the second strike, I resigned as was recommended by a lawyer I consulted from NRTW and the comments on this site. I love this blog and the wisdom of those who share their comments – it preserved my sanity. The strike did not happen and it is supposed to be over and we are supposed to move on. Well, today I received a very terse letter from MNA stating that “someone had made a complaint” against me “to the Board” that I am “being charged with working behind the line” during the strike “and still subject to reprimand.” Even though I have resigned, the letter stated that there will be a hearing and they will decide if I am to be subject to “reprimand, censure, suspension or expulsion from MNA.” “The Hearing Panel will determine the appropriate penalty.” If I wish to “contest this allegation” I am to furnish evidence within 15 days, etc. Any comments? Did anyone else receive a letter? It is interesting that the MNA letterhead has the words “Professional Distinction, Personal Dignity and Patient Advocacy.”

    Reply

    • Supposedly MNA said they would not be fining members who crossed the picket line but I do not trust them. You should contact the NRTW and ask them for their help. I do know there are others who crossed and did not resign so I am sure they will be getting their letters also….I will email someone that I know and ask her to post concerning this also.

      Reply

      • Just talked to someone who said her friend received a letter….except she resigned before the one day strike so don’t know why she received a letter also. Here is the contact information for the National Right to Work. “Foundation attorneys are prepared to advise Twin Cities nurses about their workplace rights. We are also prepared to provide free legal assistance to any nurses who are subjected to union harassment or retaliation for working during this or any subsequent strike initiated by MNA officials. You can call the Foundation toll free at 800-336-3600 or request free legal assistance via email at legal@nrtw.org.

        Reply

    • Posted by Dee on July 25, 2010 at 9:39 am

      anybody who receives such a letter should contact the NRTW legal foundation at the phone number, email address that’s in the “nrtw press release” tab at the top of the page. Their assistance is free.

      This is just more of MNA’s harrassment and intimidation.

      Reply

    • Posted by answer to prayer on July 25, 2010 at 4:46 pm

      Quilt mom. I am a nurse at Children’s and myself and 3 other colleagues worked 6/10 and 6/11. I and my fellow nurses applaud your decision to provide patient care based on sound principles! All 4 of us resigned prior to 6/10 and we all received the letter. I will be contacting NRTW tomorrow to determine the steps needed going forward. Let me know what you learn as well. Penny can give you my e-mail

      Reply

  13. Posted by Not A Union Fan RN on July 25, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    http://www.thepronurse.com/index.html

    Not a lot of information but the website was a good idea….thought it was interesting.

    It’s called “RN’s Against Forced Unionism”

    Reply

  14. Posted by dragonfly on July 26, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    After watching the video on the above site, that is how I feel about MNA after they arrived at Unity about 3 yrs ago.Not much changed in my workplace except hostility toward admin/managers which I find totally unwarranted and poor nurses being represented to the hilt who could have been easily fired had the MNA not intervened. Some of our staff talk of decertifying and I am starting to think maybe that is the way to wipe the slate clean and start working for our nurses and patients not the union (both NNU and MNA). How did PROFESSIONAL nurses become part of a political machine? I am stymied at this point. If you read the article about the flight attendants in Sun. Strib, you would see the “union NWA” employees were at the bottom of the payscale of a comparison across the country. So, why would Delta want to inherit the headaches the union brings EVERYONE and pay them to do it when they are happy with their employer and how they are treated?

    Reply

    • dragonfly, I too find the hostility towards management unwarranted and unacceptable. Nurses already have a strong voice…and we know how to use it. I am not against a union…and in some areas of the country it may be very important to patient safety for them to unionize if the hospitals are not staffing appropriately. However, we are professionals and I would prefer to be represented as a professional.

      Reply

  15. Here is some information regarding unit council from Children’s HR dept.

    Regarding Unit Council: there should be an established process including an application process, the council usually selects new members using already existing criteria, things like which shift a staff member works on. Unit Council is a shared governance group not an MNA committee governed by MNA rules.

    Therefore even those who have resigned their full membership from MNA can still become involved in unit council. However, unit council in not the place nor I am told is it allowed to discuss MNA issues so although this is something for all to get involved, it is not the place to discuss change in MNA.

    Reply

  16. I wish MNA would realize that many of us are not against them….just against how they are conducting themselves and continuing to lead us to striking. There is no time that I will endorse striking for nurses…and I will continue to fight not to strike. I want us to get back to being a professional organization and back to the interest based bargaining we are supposed to be doing.

    Reply

    • Posted by wildfox on August 1, 2010 at 12:34 pm

      The ultimate outcome of change to avoid a strike would be a NO strike clause in the contract . If this goal is not achieveable then MNA needs to respect a person’s right to decline to strike for what ever reason and not judge their decision. The threats of discipline or reprimands are juvenile and NOT professional behavior.

      Reply

      • I am told we have a no strike clause…..but after the contract expires (June 1st) it no longer applies. So even though we have one it does us little good. The goal to not strike should be achieveable and has been for many years when we participated in interest based bargaining.

        Reply

        • The MNA is not a “bad thing” but there needs to be some sort of reform as the MNA has led us astray. We are professionals and I feel our being one of the most “trusted professions” has been tarnished by all of the recent events. How do regain the trust? Where do we go from here and how do we get there? It is important our patients and families feel safe as we care for them. As it is now, some are wondering…I think it is important to separate and distance nurses from the NNU and rejoin our original professional roots of the ANA . What say you? Am so looking forward to Aug 19th to meet all of you!

          Reply

          • Dragonfly, I am angry about all the damage MNA has done to our reputation and hope we can rebuild the public’s trust in us. I have had people ask me if my workplace is unsafe….and I honestly answer NO. Looking forward to meeting you on the 19th!

            Reply

            • Posted by answer to prayer on August 3, 2010 at 5:25 pm

              I read on one of the blogs that the NNU/AFL-CIO thought that nurses were the perfect group to use to procure a union stronghold here and then trickle down a union force throughout the nation. This decision to use nurses to advance the unions agenda is directly related to the excellent reputation nurses are afforded and the union knew it could get large public support simply because we are a highly respected profession. Unfortunately, the respect we enjoyed has diminished and our reputation tarnished as as result of all of this. I say never again.

            • I have read the same thing about the AFL/CIO embracing having nurses on board to help their reputation. As far as pts being safe, my father-in-law was recently in Southdale ICU in critical condition. The first nurse he had upon admission told my sister-in-law “he would be well looked after as staffing in their ICU was not unsafe as they may have heard in all the recent media and they could entrust his care to them”. Now–how sad is that ? Would she have had to give them that reassurance 6 months ago???

  17. Remember when voting in the primary next week to think about the candidate who spent the most time with the nurses on the picket line and in numerous news conferences and will continue to support these rediculous ratios. Vote in the primary next Tuesday!

    Reply

  18. Posted by butterfly on September 18, 2010 at 5:35 am

    In kight of the new initiatives and changes to the MNA By-Laws it appears to me that this is more of a po;itical power grab than truly focusing on patient care practices and safety issues. Please read the 9/17 update news release detailing how a group of PA nurses fought the coercive tactics of the CNA/NNU organiziing efforts under the Path Forward tab.

    Reply

  19. Posted by anotherview on October 23, 2010 at 10:43 am

    I wasn’t sure where to put this. I am concerned about the recent agenda for the all RN meetings at Abbott last week. I don’t know if they have the same agenda everywhere but they are already encouraging RN’s to save 2 hours a month to prepare for a strike next negotiating session. Furthermore, they begin to discuss staffing which I thought was supposed to be worked on together with management. I am also hearing that reps are telling employees and other reps to refuse to speak to their managers when the manager wants to discuss an unsafe staffing form. I am most concerned about RN’s that might not be able to think for themselves and actually refuse to speak to their manager. Can someone tell me how that is good cooperation? Oh and the agenda says “How you won in 2010?” The way I look at it – everyone lost. It should not be about winning and losing it should be abour working together. I don’t see that happening with MNA in the way.

    Reply

    • anotherview, it is so disheartening to think that the union is leading us down this same path again. We can hope that more nurses see the light and refuse to follow. The fact that MNA is already preparing to strike should tell us all something about their agenda. I have heard about reps telling new orientees to prepare for 2013. Management is not the enemy and we all need to work together. I think about the days when we used to be a professional organizaton instead of a labor union.

      Reply

    • Posted by wildfox on November 1, 2010 at 4:19 pm

      Everyone did lose … the RN’s at Children’s and North Memorial got laid off. This behavior from MNA needs to be stopped some how. I guess they will only see the light if a majority of RN’s say “NO MORE”! Maybe that should be the goal … to convince RN’s that MNA isn’t working for them but against them. So sad.

      Reply

  20. Posted by Maria on October 23, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    As a very good friend and colleague would say “You Have Got To Be Kiddin Me!!!” Abbott is calling all nurse meetings already? WHY? would the union even consider another strike when this past strike was a lose/lose proposition and we know we practice exceptionally safe nursing care in the Twin Cities…..If the union believes that the open ended strike was only “up-ended” because of financial concerns or hardships on the part of some RN’s…that may be correct to some extent…..but MNA will be in for a big surprise when we nurses who morally and ethically object to abandoning our patients make our voices heard in 2013…bring it on…this is outrageous and a total affront to us as professionals.

    Reply

  21. I received a copy of the agenda for the all nurse meeting at Abbott and posted it above. This angers me that this is the way MNA is going to move forward. Already asking the nurses to plan for a strike in 2013 shows no intent on solving issues but is putting energy into planning another strike. I have heard comments that I just don’t understand what the union has done for us. ANA has done wonderful things and holds patients in high regard…and their website is full of education…and I encourage everyone to read the ANA Code of Ethics which stresses a nurses primary committment is to the patient. However, I do not believe the NNU has the same standards for patient care or for nurses.

    Reply

  22. So MNA is claiming the seminar at the U of M is a ploy by the hospitals to prepare for 2013….how about MNA telling your members to save hours to prepare for 2013? I don’t think too many people will argue the union has done great things for our profession….I think they miss the point. NNU is not doing great things for our profession…except turning us into a labor union.
    I want to share a quote from Linda Hamilton in a recent AFL-CIO magazine. ” Mark Dayton will uphold the rights of unions to organize and have collective bargaining contracts. He will assure fair elections for workers in the decision on whether to unionize. He will assure patients who are hospitals have health care that is of the highest quality and that they have nurse staffing that is mandated based on patient acuity. ” So did MNA change their mind…now they want staffing based on acuity? So are they not pushing for the rations anymore?

    Reply

  23. Posted by Maria on November 2, 2010 at 10:18 am

    I just read the post on MNA facebook about the plans to attend this seminar wearing the red MNA shirts. I also plan to attend wearing green….

    Reply

    • Posted by Maria on November 9, 2010 at 5:21 pm

      Hi all. I took the opportunity to attend this seminar and it was very interesting. Ms. Spetz presented a very detailed and factual account,based on her extensive research, of the impact that unions have made on nurses, hospitals and health care in general. Some of the main points she touched on were centered around a comparison of non-union vs union hospitals from an economic stand point and what predictors exist that would increase a hospitals “chance” at becoming unionized. I did not feel that her presentation was in any way shape or form an assault on unions at all. In fact, she made several points that were either neutral or clearly positive with regards to the impact the union has had for nursing. For example, she touched on the fact that wages for RNs have improved markedly since the late 90’s with the nursing shortage….a direct result of union bargaining….and that as a result, job satisfaction has increased, which not only leads to better quality of care but also more individuals choosing the nurse profession as a career. Interestingly, she reported that there isn’t a huge gap in wages between union vs non-union hospitals, which the union could be credited for simply because non-union hospitals must stay competitive in order to recruit adequate nursing staff. In light of the fact that this seminar appeared to me to be “union friendly” I took a moment at the end to speak with Ms. Spetz because I was curious as to how MNA has identified her in several postings on face book as pro-hospital and anti union. She relayed to me that at one point this summer she did an interview in which she stated that there is no empirical evidence/research that consistently and conclusively proves that strict patient/nurse ratios correlates with better patient outcomes or something to that effect. This is a fact, not an opinion, but because of those remarks she is now a target by the union. In fact, a colleague felt compelled to phone her late last week to warn her that there would be a contingent of MNA union members in attendance and in fact there were a couple dozen or so there, in addition to several Grad students/ colleagues who were clearly interested in her economic research. All in all, the event was very interesting, but clearly rather benign when it comes to union politics…..I believe “the red shirts” may have been slightly disappointed. On the bright side, I took the opportunity to buy a really nice green sweater:)

      Reply

      • Maria, thank you for going and for the feedback and glad you got yourself a new sweater!! LOL

        Reply

        • Posted by Maria on November 9, 2010 at 6:02 pm

          Curiously, there are no posts on MNA FB from any of the union nurses in attendance on the so called assault this researcher was to supposedly present….Also, I forgot to mention that Ms. Spetz made a comment regarding the assertion by MNA via FB that hospitals credit her and her research as having PROVEN that patient/staff ratios are ineffective…She stated something to the effect that if that were true she would be extremely well-renowned and would certainly add that to her resume’.

          Reply

  24. Posted by Kelly on November 3, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Our Vice President of Patient Care has been speaking at each Mandatory Education session, to give nurses a chance to ask questions. Some nurses are down right rude and cruel towards her. She gets in front of the group of 80-100 MNA nurses and accepts responsiablilty for her part in the summer events, yet MNA never once accepts their responsiblity. I am from Abbott and just heard today that at those All nurse meetings MNA actually told the nurses, managers at Abbott recieved bonuses for their role this summer, which is yet another lie. I am not a manager, but know this is not true. As others have said I am so frustrated that this organization is able to get away with lie after lie, and manupulation. They are to represent the nurses, yet I have seen none of that they only search for power. The MNA nurses need MNA reps that will truely represent them around labor issues, not for another national organization or their own personal agenda’s. I am not in the union, so MNA nurses that crossed I am so proud of you and I was with you that day as a non-union nurse , I will continue with you.

    Reply

    • Posted by marygrace on November 14, 2010 at 10:16 am

      I can verify from my manager friend that a bonus was indeed NOT given. In fact, most managers put in many many extra hours without extra pay like union nurses get….and helped take care of the patients abandoned by those who went on strike only to be harassed and treated with great disrespect on the return of the red-shirts. The unprofessional behavior continues at ANW. Its sickening. Nurses are regularly discussing openly on the units the next strike and how they are anxious for that. There is not a spirit of working together.What a shame because ANW used to be such a great place to work simply because everyone worked together with the patients as the focus. The patients are not the focus of many nurses…they are focused on themselves.
      Here I do think the union succeded. The union continues to fan the flame…keep the hostility going…They have been able to make their members distrust the leaders who have helped them, worked beside them, created great environments, supported their further education and development etc. The we vs they attitude continues to be pushed by the co-chairs throughout ANW in my observation. Hostility where cooperation is needed. Union leadership needs to refocus its energy on dealing with the staffing issues for patient safety and not focus on a future strike. They were all over the news “we care for you”…..well, put your energy where you said you would. I think we should demand the union demonstrate what it said it would.

      Reply

  25. Posted by butterfly on November 4, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    Thank-You Kelly for continuing to shed light on what is happening at these meetings. I am truly sadened to what is happening to our professon. I am also very proud of each of the courageous nurses that crossed the picket line to continue to provide “safe patient” care. We must continue to stay engaged so this never, ever happens again!

    Reply

  26. I just have to say as MNA supports democracy and our right to vote….why did we not get the right to vote when we left ANA in 2008 as MNA agreed and voted to do in 2005?
    I have received continual emails about MNA preparing nurses for an ugly 2013. Really?? Do they really think we will follow them down that road again? I hope more nurses think for themselves when that time comes around. I want a union that promotes nurses as professionals…not as a labor organization.

    Reply

  27. Posted by dragonfly on November 15, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    Man–I have not visited the site lately and was unaware of this seminar at the U of M. Glad some of you attended to shed light on what transpired. I am saddened the road the MNA is leading us down. We are afterall PROFESSIONALS not truckers or construction workers (not that there is anything wrong with that–they are good and honest jobs). It is my understanding that their paid union “representatives” make no more than they could make in a year or they would revolt. So,I ask, where is the outcry about the 6 figure salaries at our very own MNA office? Everything has become so whacked out. I feel the teamwork and comradrie we had as a profession is being taken from us and being replaced with self-centeredness—it’s become about “me” not “we”. We need to ALL (staff and administration) work together to make the care for our patients as safe as possible without sacrificing what nursing is all about. Florence is rolling in her grave right now! It is not “we” against “them”. Administration wants what we want–safe patient care and the compassion that is innate in every GOOD NURSE . We are being tarnished by a few. We cannot and should not stand by and watch this happen . We cannot be pew sitters…I feel like we are the Tea Party of nursing–we are angry and we are not going to take it anymore!!!

    Reply

  28. I want to share this article in the NY times about the future of nursing. Nursing is going to face many challenges….the model of care should involve all disciplines working together. Read the article above about the NNU’s stand on Magnet and working with management.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/18/health/views/18chen.html?_r=2&ref=health

    Reply

  29. Anyone else find it interesting that Delta Airlines has had 2 rather large groups of employees recenlty refuse to unionize? I find it to be an interesting statement on what seems to be an ever increasing skepticism on the effectiveness of unions in general. MNA is oddly (or maybe predictibly) silent with regards to these news items. Also, today the executive director of the MNA resigned so he could take a position with NNU–guess he proved himself by creating all the media noteriety this summer huh?

    Reply

  30. I want to share a guiding priciple from Mary Seacole who was a nurse at the same time as Florence Nightingale but got lost in history until recently. Mary said that “bureacracy should not deter the cause of service.”

    Reply

  31. I was told that the new U of M children’s hospital is going to be union….they were not given a chance to vote…the excuse is it is on Fairview property and they are union. Democracy at work again!

    Reply

  32. MNA just had a press release: they supposedly got ahold of a memo from the MHA and are using it as more ammunition to prepare everyone for a long strike in 2013. The points of the memo supposedly are
    1) The MHA has retained a PR firm to coordinate a media campaign showing what the hospitals are doing to ensure safe patient care.

    I have to say after all the bad publicity this summer caused by the MNA the hospitals should be showing the public they can receive safe care while in our hospitals.

    2) The MHA will use this PR firm to fight legislative action for ratios.

    OK….I think we went through this already….the ratios are not proven and if MNA would have continued down this road there would be some very cold nurses still sitting out on the picket line. Don’t you think if something was proven to save lives the hospitals would take it seriously? The hospitals cannot afford to spend money on something that is not proven to improve outcomes.

    3) 30 executives from across the state will make up a steering committee to guide MHA advocacy efforts.

    What is the problem with this? MNA continues to say how unsafe the hospitals are and causing damage to their reputations so why shouldn’t the hospitals try to repair the damage MNA is doing?

    If MNA/NNU is going to continue fighting the hospitals instead of working with them no one will win…and next time they will be very cold on the picket line.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: