Aitkin Nurses Demand a Fair Contract

Aitkin-nursesAn energized group of nurses confronted their boss on Tuesday at Riverwood Healthcare Center in Aitkin, spurred by their determination to achieve a fair union contract. “This agreement helps us protect our patients,” said Bargaining Unit Co-Chair Lynda Smith, RN. “My colleagues will use every tool available to us to advocate for our patients. With a legal contract behind us, we stand up for each other and ourselves to demand what is right for the safety of our patients.”

The 48 registered nurses represented by MNA have been negotiating their contract since mid-August and another bargaining session scheduled for Nov. 8. On Tues., Nov. 5, a significant band of nurses gathered in the morning to deliver a petition the Riverwood CEO, in demonstration of the group’s solidarity. “We’ve been unified all along,” said Smith, “and this helped kick it up a notch.” The MNA negotiating team will go into Friday’s meeting feeling deeply supported and in a position of strength to advance professional gains and fight off management proposals aimed at diminishing workplace benefits and nursing practice protocols.

“This contract is an asset to retain and recruit nurses to this community,” said Smith. “We want to keep it that way so our neighbors can continue to receive the care they deserve.”