Minimum Wage

By Katie Gjertson

MNA Political Coordinator

This June 9 – 11, several thousand progressive activists from across the country will gather in Chicago for the People’s Summit 2.0. It’s a multi-organizational, multi-racial, multi-issue conference, co-hosted by the National Nurses United. The event goals are to form a broad coalition committed to building a people’s movement united around social, racial, economic, and environmental justice.

MNA members are invited to attend, and those who haven’t been to an event like this before are the perfect candidate. These events feature high-powered speeches by progressive leaders that will leave participants fired up to get involved.
… Read more about: The People’s Summit 2.0  »

Minnesota State Capitol St Paul Minnesota

MNA Legislative Update April 25, 2014


Public Employee Relations Board


A bill to establish a Public Employee Relations Board (HF3014) has already passed and will be heard by the full Senate on Monday. This legislation would create a board to decide Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) claims involving public employees, which includes many MNA nurses at public municipal or county hospitals. Under current law public employees must litigate ULP claims in district court-a cumbersome and expensive process. The PERB bill would create a process that saves employers and employees money and would mirror the ULP process in the private sector.
… Read more about: MNA Legislative Update April 25, 2014  »

MNA Legislative Update April 11, 2014

There was a lot of activity at the Capitol this week with several major pieces of legislation debated, passed, and signed into law. Many of these were priorities that MNA supports.

Status: Passed by House and Senate

On Monday morning, leaders of the House and Senate announced an agreement to raise Minnesota’s minimum wage (HF2091). The agreement will raise the wage to $9.50 over three years and include an automatic inflationary increase that allows workers to keep up with the cost of living. The final deal includes a provision allowing the Commissioner of Labor and Industry to suspend the inflationary increase in case of an economic downturn.
… Read more about: MNA Legislative Update April 11, 2014  »

MNA Legislative Update April 5, 2014Minnesota State Capitol St Paul Minnesota

Minimum Wage

Legislative leaders are still in discussions about raising the minimum wage (HF92). Both the House and Senate agree on raising the wage to $9.50, but only the House currently supports including an annual inflationary increase in the legislation, called indexing, that allows minimum wage workers to keep up with the rising costs of food, housing, and transportation. Last week the Senate introduced a bill that would have asked the voters to decide on the minimum wage and inflationary increases, but this week the author, Sen. Ann Rest, withdrew the bill.
… Read more about: MNA Legislative Update April 5, 2014  »

2014 student day on the hillOn Thursday, April 3, for the seventh consecutive year, the Minnesota Nurses Association hosted students from nursing schools throughout the state for a lesson in advocacy that takes them beyond their bedside responsibilities.

350 students and instructors, representing 14 different schools of nursing attended the day-long event that kicked off with a morning meet & greet with MNA members leaders.  A comprehensive orientation followed, providing students insights about policy issues facing legislators in which nurses have a keen interest, including Nurse Licensing, Monitoring and Discipline; Minimum Wage; Mandatory Flu Vaccine; Department of Health Study of Staffing and Patient Outcomes; and Health Care for All.
… Read more about: Nursing Students Connect Practice and Policy  »

MNA-with-Sen.-BakkNurses Day on the Hill 2014

Nurses had a great and productive day on March 11 visiting the Capitol and their respective representatives and senators.  Hundreds of nurses came out to educate lawmakers and without a specific bill to push in this short session, representatives and senators were happy just to have an education where they could learn about healthcare policy and the practice of nursing.  Nurses brought many issues to lawmakers’ attention for the first time, which they said they appreciated.  See below.

Health Care Professionals and Monitoring

There are now two bills moving through the Minnesota legislature.  SF 1890 passed out of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee last week and is now headed for a committee hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee next Tuesday at noon. 
… Read more about: MNA Legislative Update, March 14, 2014  »

Legislative hearingHealth Care Professionals and Monitoring

The Senate Committee on Health and Human Services amended and passed SF 1890 Wednesday afternoon, which would give the Minnesota Board of Nursing (BoN) more information about health care professionals who are eligible for the Health Professionals Service Program. (To enhance public safety in health care, HPSP monitors health professionals with illnesses as an alternative or adjunct to discipline.) MNA has several concerns about the bill, including that it would give the BoN much greater access to very sensitive personal information about nurses, and take a punitive, rather than chronic disease management, approach to substance abuse issues.
… Read more about: MNA Legislative Update, March 7, 2014  »

Linda-Hamilton_1MNA President Linda Hamilton, RN, BSN joined health experts on Monday to highlight the impact of low-wage work on community health.  The press conference also included Commissioner of Health Dr. Edward Ehlinger, Representative Tina Liebling and ISAIAH President Rev. Paul Slack and called for a wider discussion around ending poverty wages in Minnesota.

Although wages and health are rarely talked about together, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) drew the links. MDH released a report on Monday providing research to back up the claim that increases in income are associated with positive health outcomes.

The report  states that people with higher income are more likely to live longer and healthier lives than those with lower income levels, and recommends policies aimed at increasing income for groups with the lowest income.
… Read more about: Wages are a Health Issue  »

P1030876Budget Surplus

Today’s economic forecast showed the state has a budget surplus of $1.23 billion, due to better-than-projected revenue collections and lower spending. This news is a welcome change from past years of structural deficits, budget gimmicks and program cuts. This shows that Minnesota is on strong economic footing and the budget reforms made last session worked. Because the budget has been improving, the state has already paid off the entire “school shift” ($2.8 billion borrowed from public schools to shrink the 2011 budget deficit) so the $1.23 billion surplus is not obligated to be spent on any specific program.
… Read more about: MNA Legislative Update, February 28, 2014  »

Minnesota State Capitol St Paul MinnesotaThe Minnesota legislative session starts today, Tuesday, February 25, and we have a lot of work to do to protect the practice of nursing, promote patient safety and advance the health of our community.

Minimum Wage Rally: Tuesday, February 25, 4:00 pm at the Capitol in St. Paul We will kick the session off with hundreds of allies at a rally in support of raising the Minimum Wage. Raising the wage to at least $9.50 and indexing it to inflation will raise thousands of families out of poverty and stimulate our economy. No one who works full time should live in poverty and have to choose between food for their family or gas for their car.  
… Read more about: Nurse Voices at the Capitol Help Patients  »