Labor Unions

By Mathew Keller

MNA Regulatory and Policy Nursing Specialist

Allina’s final estimate of how much money it wasted on labor strife is in, with the health system pegging its total strike costs at 149 million dollars. As Allina employees know, however, this number is an underestimate. While the estimate includes the cost of shipping replacement nurses into Minnesota and paying them hourly rates that would make a cardiologist blush, and subtracts the costs Allina would have paid its trusted nurses were they not on strike– it does not account for the fact that Allina has been and will continue to pay eye-popping sums for replacement nurses well into 2017 due to the extreme level of nurse-turnover post-strike.
… Read more about: What can $149 million get you?  »

By Mathew Keller, RN JD
Regulatory and Policy Nursing Specialist

We’ve detailed at length the connections between Piper Jaffray and Allina. Piper Jaffray, as you recall, served as a broker/dealer to a 2007 “Auction Rate Security” bond offering that ultimately led Allina to sue. Allina claimed that the other broker-dealer (UBS) knew the Auction Rate Security market would fail mere months after the bond offering, but, interestingly, Allina did not make that claim against Piper. This transaction caused Allina to lose tens of millions of dollars in penalty interest rates, interest rate swaps, and early termination fees when it refinanced the bonds.
… Read more about: MNA Requests Meeting with US Bank in order to Save Allina Money  »

By Megan Gavin

MNA Education Specialist

I opened a card last week that read, “Thank you so much for granting me hardship funds…without your generosity and assistance I don’t know how I’d get through. It is with heart-felt gratitude that I write to thank you all, for all you’ve continued to do throughout our difficult contract negotiations. Please know how grateful I truly am.” The sender continues with an anecdote about her personal experience and how these funds helped her, and I was in tears before finishing.

As MNA’s education specialist, I’ve been putting together workshops on the community resources for union members during a strike.
… Read more about: What can you get for $1.67 a month?  »

By Shannon Cunningham

Director of Governmental and Community Relations

It’d be great if we all could elect our own boss. And the boss’ boss. And the boss’ boss’ boss. A vote against is a vote to fire them. A yes vote is a vote to hire them. Most importantly, no vote at all signals that you just don’t care. Sound familiar? Maybe because we actually can do that now.

It’s why elections matter. Take Attorney General Laurie Swanson, for example. The Minnesota Nurses Association has had a longstanding great relationship with AG Swanson. We have worked with her extensively on issues, such as fair billing practices at hospitals and preventing a merger of Sanford Health and the University of Minnesota..
… Read more about: Politics & Contracts Go Together Like Peanut Butter and Jelly  »

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  »

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  »

By Mathew J. Keller, RN JDDSC_8097
MNA Regulatory and Policy Nursing Specialist

Those of us who collaborate with LPNs on a daily basis have come to respect their knowledge and experience in caring for patients. We know that LPNs are an important part of the patient care team. In fact, many MNA RNs started out as LPNs. That vital experience has proven to them that while both roles are valuable, they’re not interchangeable. Any facility that’s thinking of weathering any kind of storm by just staffing more LPNs will be inviting trouble and risk.

There are several differences in LPN vs.
… Read more about: Can LPNs Replace RNs?  »

By Rick Fuentes

MNA Communications Specialist

There’s been a lot of scare tactics lately about the Cadillac Tax. Recently, one of the big Twin Cities hospital chains even produced a video for its employees where a cartoon employee drives her old Cadillac into a car dealer to get a newer, cheaper car. Make no mistake, however, the Cadillac Tax isn’t about to run over middle-class workers. At least not yet.

The “Cadillac Tax” or excise tax is part of the Affordable Care Act, which set a 40 percent tax on insurance plans valued over $10,200 for an individual and $27,500 for families.
… Read more about: The Truth About the Cadillac Tax  »

By Megan Gavin

MNA Education Specialist

Why you should use some of your precious free time to attend an MNA education session

In the 1960s it was common practice for hospitals to charge nurses for breaking hospital property, which included glass vials of medication. Frustrated by low pay and practices such as this, a group of nurses successfully organized their co-workers to challenge this policy. Today the breakage clause, which states “it is not the policy of the hospital to charge nurses for breakage,” is one of the oldest sections in MNA contracts.

 

MNA has more than hundred years of history to learn from, ideas to copy, and people to emulate.
… Read more about: Why you should use some of your precious free time to attend an MNA education session  »