MNA Blog

Recent news and updates from the Minnesota Nurses Association.

Contact:  Rick Fuentes

(o) 651-414-2863
(c) 612-741-0662
rick.fuentes@mnnurses.org
Barbara Brady

(o) 651-414-2849
(c) 651-202-0845
barbara.brady@mnnurses.org

(Duluth) – July 25, 2016 – Nurses at Essentia hospitals in Duluth and Superior are taking their frustration with the lack of progress on contract negotiations to the public with an informational picket at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth on July 27.

Nurses have been negotiating with Essentia Health since April. Essentia is trying to force nurses into unacceptable concessions on health insurance while rejecting nurses’ proposals to ensure nurses have the right number of patients at one time in order to care for them safely.
… Read more about: Press Release: Nurses to picket Essentia Wednesday, July 27  »

Contact: Rick Fuentes
(o) 651-414-2863
(c) 612-741-0662
rick.fuentes@mnnurses.org

Barbara Brady
(o) 651-414-2849
(c) 651-202-0845
barbara.brady@mnnurses.org

(Duluth) – July 15, 2016 – Hundreds of MNA nurses at Essentia hospitals in Duluth and Superior will hold an informational picket July 27 to publicly urge the hospital system to negotiate a fair contract.

Nurses on July 14 gave the required 10-day notice of the picket in front of St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth from 1-5:30 p.m.

“Essentia is insisting on unacceptable concessions while ignoring our calls for safe staffing,” MNA Essentia Bargaining Unit Chair Steve Strand said.
… Read more about: Press Release: Nurses at Essentia hospitals in Duluth, Superior set July 27 informational picket  »

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By Mary Turner

MNA President

 

When 5,000 Allina nurses went on strike for seven days last month, I spoke to so many who were determined but anxious. Would the public understand why they made the difficult decision to strike, rather than accept Allina’s demand that they give up their affordable healthcare? Would the public understand that they had to stand up to Allina when they refused to discuss our issues, including safe staffing and violence?

If you had a chance to be at one of the five picket lines during the strike, you know that the public definitely understood why nurses were outside.
… Read more about: Solidarity is Alive and Well  »

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Contact: Rick Fuentes
(o) 651-414-2863
(c) 612-741-0662
rick.fuentes@mnnurses.org

Barbara Brady
(o) 651-414-2849
(c) 651-202-0845
barbara.brady@mnnurses.org

(Baudette) – July 1, 2016 – Nurses and technical staff employed at LakeWood Health Center in Baudette said ‘yes’ to contract representation by the Minnesota Nurses Association in a June 30 vote.

MNA will represent RNs, LPNs, technicians, and technologists at LakeWood. The new bargaining unit will now begin preparations to bargain a first contract.

“We are excited about having a voice in our workplace so we can continue to advocate for our patients,” said McCall Plourde, a Radiologic Technologist at LakeWood.
… Read more about: Press Release: LakeWood nurses, technical workers vote for MNA representation  »

Questions Remain to be Answered Before Agreement Can be Reached

Contact:  Rick Fuentes
(o) 651-414-2863
(c) 612-741-0662
rick.fuentes@mnnurses.org

Barbara Brady
(o) 651-414-2849
(c) 651-202-0845
barbara.brady@mnnurses.org

Minneapolis – June 25, 2016 – Nurses with the Minnesota Nurses Association report strong attendance on the picket lines around Allina Health hospitals during the week-long strike, which they say indicates a coming together of nurses at all the hospitals.  They also said, however, that seven days of no information from Allina Health CEO Dr. Penny Wheeler has left them feeling farther apart from the company and less optimistic about an agreement.
… Read more about: Press Release: Nurses closer together but feel farther apart from Allina  »

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By Mathew Keller, RN JD

Regulatory and Policy Nursing Specialist

In its latest ploy, Allina Health has turned to the argument that the health insurance plan MNA nurses currently have would be subject to the excise tax in the Affordable Care Act, also known as the “Cadillac” tax in four years. MNA negotiators did not hear this argument at the bargaining table for one very good reason — the tax  has absolutely nothing to do with this round of negotiations.

The “Cadillac” tax – which is really an excise tax – was enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act as a way to encourage increased cost-sharing in health insurance plans.
… Read more about: Allina’s ‘Cadillac Tax’ Ploy Fails to Pass Muster  »

Contact:  Rick Fuentes
(o) 651-414-2863
(c) 612-741-0662
rick.fuentes@mnnurses.org

Barbara Brady
(o) 651-414-2849
(c) 651-202-0845
barbara.brady@mnnurses.org

Minneapolis – June 23, 2016 – Striking nurses renewed their invitation to Allina CEO Penny Wheeler to have a direct conversation with them – and expanded the invitation to Allina Board of Directors Chair John Church, an executive vice president of General Mills.

“Nurses are growing increasingly frustrated with the resounding silence from Dr. Wheeler and the Board of Directors, who should be stepping up and calling for a resolution,” said Abbott Northwestern RN Angela Becchetti. “We invited Dr.
… Read more about: Press Release: Nurses Renew Call for Allina CEO to Talk Directly to Them  »

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By Mathew Keller, RN JD

Regulatory and Policy Nursing Specialist

Ask any Allina nurse. They all know why they are on strike. Health insurance, patient safety, workplace violence, and maintaining a voice in the workplace are all important aspects of this action. But what about Allina’s claims that the money it would save from cuts to nurses’ total compensation would be put to patient care?

As Allina puts it, the $10 million it proposes to take from nurses “means a whole lot to what service we’re able to provide,” according to Allina CEO Penny Wheeler. Unsurprisingly absent from that statement is why Allina needs this 10 million for patient care, why it needs to take it from its nurses, and why it can’t come from other sources.
… Read more about: Allina claims $10 million needed from nurses to improve patient care  »

invest in your future concept with blue curtain hand and black background

By Mathew J. Keller, RN JDkellerjan2016

Regulatory and Policy Nursing Specialist

A company leans on its board of directors for counsel, for investment, and for leadership.  The board is a group of advisers with expertise above and/or outside of the company’s executive team.  It’s disappointing to see that so many healthcare corporations don’t include nurses on their boards.

In the case of the 19 members of the Allina Health Board of Directors, a full seven are investment bankers or associated financial professionals. In fact, the list of board includes several CEOs (such as the head of Buffalo Wild Wings), a dean of a business school, a marketing guru, a supply chain VP for General Mills, and a retired attorney.
… Read more about: Composition of Allina Health’s Board of Directors Speaks Volumes  »

Contact:  Rick Fuentes
(o) 651-414-2863
(c) 612-741-0662
rick.fuentes@mnnurses.org

Barbara Brady
(o) 651-414-2849
(c) 651-202-0845
barbara.brady@mnnurses.org

(Duluth) – June 17, 2017 – MNA nurses at St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth ratified a new contract on June 16.

Nurses voted for a three-year contract that includes wage increases, improvements to retirement benefits, and incentives to ensure enough nurses are scheduled to provide safe patient care.

“We negotiated a fair contract that recognizes the important work nurses do,” MNA St. Luke’s Bargaining Unit Chair Cindy Prout said. “We hope Essentia Health will join St.
… Read more about: Press Release: MNA nurses ratify contract with St. Luke’s Hospital  »