COVID-19

By John Welsh, RN, MNA Health and Safety Committee member

This summer, the Biden Administration issued new workplace safety rules regarding COVID-19 that we believe give nurses important rights to protect themselves as the pandemic continues.

Notebook page with text OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration, on a table with a stethoscope and pen, medical concept.

While the COVID-19 vaccine and increased supply of Personal Protective Equipment have dramatically improved nurse safety compared to last year, COVID-19 remains dangerous, and healthcare workers remain vulnerable. These new rules are essential to hold employers accountable for worker safety.

Technically, what the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration did was determine that employee exposure to COVID-19 presents a grave danger to workers in healthcare settings and issued Emergency Temporary Standards to address the issue.
… Read more about: New OSHA COVID-19 rules give nurses important rights to protect themselves  »

Media Advisory

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:  Rick Fuentes
(o) 651-414-2863
(c) 612-741-0662
rick.fuentes@mnnurses.org
Lauren Nielsen
(o) 651-414-2862
(c) 651-376-9709
lauren.nielsen@mnnurses.org

(St. Paul) – June 3, 2021 – On Wednesday, July 28th, at 11:15 a.m. in the Capitol Rotunda, essential workers – including nurses, janitors, food service workers, educators and other essential workers – will speak out ahead of the first public hearing on the $250 million Frontline Worker Pay Working Group.

Before heading in to testify at the hearing, speakers will share why this work is so critical to thousands of families and push legislators to ensure this money – a first step in working to honor the sacrifices frontline essential workers made this last year – is spent in a timely fashion, is easy for workers to access and reflects the sacrifices workers have made throughout the pandemic.
… Read more about: Essential Workers to Speak Out Ahead of First $250 Million Frontline Worker Pay Working Group Hearing  »

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:  Rick Fuentes
(o) 651-414-2863
(c) 612-741-0662
rick.fuentes@mnnurses.org
Lauren Nielsen
(o) 651-414-2862
(c) 651-376-9709
lauren.nielsen@mnnurses.org

July 14, 2021 (St. Paul) – Frontline workers who sacrificed during the COVID-19 pandemic spoke out Wednesday on the need for speedy, fair compensation from a $250 million fund created by the Legislature and administered by a new, nine-member working group.

“The table is set, it’s time to dig in,” said Mary C. Turner, president of the Minnesota Nurses Association. “Lawmakers have been promising to care for essential, frontline workers. It’s time to make sure these funds go to back pay and fulfill the needs of those workers who had to sacrifice pay and benefits during the pandemic.”

The coalition of groups, including SEIU, MNA, Education Minnesota, We Make MN, AFSCME Council 65, Unidos MN, CTUL, the Awood Center, the AFL-CIO and others, pushed legislators to make sure this money is used in a way that begins the process of supporting the workers who gave so much this last year.
… Read more about: Minnesota Essential Workers React to Announcement of Working Group Members for $250 Million Fund  »

Media Advisory

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


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

Amber Smigiel
(o) 651-414-2849
(c) 651-202-0845
amber.smigiel@mnnurses.org

Emergency COVID-19 Leave Bill Caught in Limbo in Legislature

(St. Paul) – May 27, 2021 – Essential workers feel left behind despite their hard work and sacrifice during the COVID-19 pandemic, and they’re demanding progress on the emergency leave bill they were promised.

Despite Emergency Leave (link) passing the Minnesota House, the legislation has stalled in the Senate.  Essential workers were told there were both state and federal dollars to help them recapture the lost time and wages they missed while being forced to quarantine or await test results.
… Read more about: Essential workers to lawmakers: ‘Don’t forget us’  »

by Kristen Jacobson

MNA Member

 

I’m a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit nurse. I love my job. I love where I work. I love what I do. Unfortunately lately, I haven’t been able to do it, and every time away from work has cost me, not my hospital.

When my son came in 2018, who knew I’d need all of my sick bank later?  I used the time off that I’d earned to that point, and only when I returned to work, could I start accruing time off again.

Along came 2020, and nobody knew how serious the symptoms were or what they meant.
… Read more about: Nurses Need Our Earned Benefits Back  »

Never in my seven years as an RN did I imagine I would be working amid a pandemic. With everything we did not yet know about COVID-19, I was shocked to find out that we would be affected where I work, in rural Perham, Minnesota. Despite the risks, my fellow nurses and I show up to work every day because it is our job to care for our community.

Note: the content below is the opinion of the creator or signed authors.

By Sara Buchanan, RN

It was an honor and a privilege to represent Minnesota and rural Minnesota Nurses at the White House recently on a conference call with first lady Jill Biden and second gentleman Doug Emhoff! Even small-town nurses face big-time problems in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Although our rural COVID-19 surges hit later and are starting to get better, things are still difficult.

Lack of testing, nursing shortages, personal protective equipment shortages, and COVID-19 exposures remain.
… Read more about: Sharing the experience of rural nurses during COVID-19 with the White House  »

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


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

Amber Smigiel
(o) 651-414-2849
(c) 651-202-0845
amber.smigiel@mnnurses.org

February 10, 2021 (St. Paul) – Minnesota Nurses Association President Mary C. Turner has been selected to serve on the national Biden-Harris COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force. Turner is the only Registered Nurse to serve on this advisory board to advise the White House on how to ensure all Americans have access to COVID-19 resources. She was personally selected by President Joe Biden.

“I’m both honored and humbled to serve the country,” Turner said.
… Read more about: MNA President Turner Proud to Support Nurses on Biden-Harris COVID-19 Task Force  »

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Amber Smigiel
(o) 651-414-2849
(c) 651-202-0845
amber.smigiel@mnnurses.org

January 26, 2021 (St. Paul) – Minnesota nurses explained to legislators that, like other essential workers, they’ve lost thousands of dollars in pay and benefits due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and they’re asking lawmakers to support HF41, the Essential Workers Emergency Leave Act, which will make it right.

Many essential workers, including nurses, were either exempted from receiving federal COVID leave covered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) or their employers were not subject to FFCRA due to their size.
… Read more about: MNA Nurses Testify in Support of Essential Workers Emergency Leave Act  »

By Susan Kreitz, RN, MNA Board of Directors, CARn Chair

This question is being asked by many people. People from all walks of life, race, young and old. The truth is everyone who can, should be vaccinated. The virus doesn’t know who we are, where we live, or how old we are.

We need to look at the science of this medication. mRNA technology was discovered over 30 years ago and the vaccine has been studied for nearly 2 decades. The benefit of mRNA vaccines, like all vaccines, those who are vaccinated gain protection without ever having to risk serious consequences of getting sick with COVID-19.
… Read more about: Should you get the COVID-19 vaccine?  »