FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nurses in Twin Cities and Twin Ports are now working without contracts as hospital executives refuse solutions to short-staffing, retention and better patient care
VIDEO: Video of today’s announcement can be found at this link.
(St. Paul) – August 11, 2022 – Nurses with the Minnesota Nurses Association today announced that they will hold a strike vote on Monday, August 15, 2022, as 15,000 nurses in the Twin Cities and Twin Ports fight for fair contracts to hold healthcare executives accountable to put patients before profits. If passed by a supermajority of nurses, the vote would authorize nurse negotiation leaders to call a strike following a 10-day notice to hospital employers. Such a strike of 15,000 nurses would be one of the largest nurses strikes in U.S. history, and would be the first time Twin Cities and Twin Ports nurses took such an action together in contract negotiations.
“Hospital executives with million-dollar salaries have created a crisis of retention and care in our healthcare system, as more nurses are leaving the bedside, putting quality patient care at risk,” said Mary C. Turner, RN at North Memorial Hospital and President of the Minnesota Nurses Association. “Nurses do not take this decision lightly, but we are determined to take a stand at the bargaining table, and on the sidewalk if necessary, to put patients before profits in our hospitals.”
The strike authorization vote comes as nurses have negotiated for five months with hospital executives, and have worked without contracts for the last several months. While hospital CEOs with million-dollar salaries have refused to negotiate with nurses over solutions to the crises of short-staffing, retention and patient care that the same executives’ corporate healthcare policies created, the problems in our hospitals are getting worse: recent studies have found that more nurses are planning to leave the bedside while adverse events for patients are increasing.
“Corporate healthcare policies in our hospitals have left nurses understaffed and overworked, while patients are overcharged, local hospitals and services are closed, and executives take home million-dollar paychecks,” said Chris Rubesch, RN at Essentia in Duluth and First Vice President of the Minnesota Nurses Association. “Nurses have one priority in our hospitals, to take care of our patients, and we are determined to fight for fair contracts so nurses can stay at the bedside to provide the quality care our patients deserve.”
Since negotiations began in March, nurses have pressed hospital executives both at the bargaining table and in public over the need to negotiate with nurses to solve the crises of short-staffing, retention and care in our hospitals. Nurses held informational pickets at 15 hospitals throughout the state in June, launched an advertising campaign exposing the effects of corporate healthcare policies in Minnesota hospitals and last week announced that nurses had voted “No Confidence” in hospital executives.
Minnesota hospital CEOs have refused to address these issues in negotiations with nurses, leading nurses to take Monday’s vote to authorize a strike of 15,000 Minnesota nurses. While nurses seek solutions to short staffing and retention, hospital executives have insisted on focusing on wages. Despite the fact that many hospital executives continue to earn significant raises on their million-dollar salaries, these same CEOs are offering nurses average annual increases of only around 3 percent, well below the current rate of inflation and climbing cost of living. Hospital CEOs with million-dollar salaries can afford to put Patients Before Profits in our hospital and to do right by Minnesota nurses.
So if people can’t get the care they need because the nurses are on strike, how is that putting patients first. The blood will be on your hands
Thank you for your hard work. Care is getting harder to do as nurses are working with less and required to do more.
The nursing staff crisis was looming prior to the pandemic . The pandemic made the public more aware. Nurses were leaving as there was no incentive to stay. Experienced nurses retired early and the vaccine mandate lost experienced nurses . Units and beds were shut down to to no staff yet the news reports beds were at capacity due to covid when it was a staffed bed issue .
I stand with you and support you 100%.
Jim L. Work at a hospital one night shift with 6 to 7 or more patients. There is blood on the hands of administration whose poor planning caused a decrease in bed side nurses. Blood is on all our hands for not realizing the CEOs cannot make millions while everyone else struggles for health care. Also are you Phishing? Making such a statement!
Sometimes you have to make a point and take a stand. Patients are not a priority to hospitals who overpay executives and don’t take care of their front line workers. If your loved one was in the hospital and the RNs taking care of them were over worked and under paid, it would be easy to see their point. They are not able to take care of anyone when they are constantly under staffed and people are quitting for easier less demanding jobs. The blood is not on the hands of these amazing RNs who sacrifice day after day for others and are not acknowledged or compensated for their dedication to caring for patients. Thank goodness we have nurses.
I have been an ICU RN for 30 years. I work in Texas. We do not have unions. If you put your paycheck before patient care you should be ashamed of yourself. That is not what a nurse does.
The point in striking is to demonstrate to everyone what is being felt by those doing the work. There has been no incentive to staff these facilities appropriately because it doesn’t hurt administration. They repeatedly shove heavier acuity and increasingly onerous workloads on the licensed professionals with expectation of continued success. And when we fail to make standard of care because we simply cannot get to every task for every patient, the licensed professionals are the ones held to account.
Until we hold government and administrators accountable for the part they play in this mess it can’t get better for any of us.
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