Organizing (Page 2)

About one-tenth of the population of a northern Minnesota town now belongs to MNA.

Nearly 100 employees at LakeWood Health Center in Baudette  (population 1,080) voted last week in favor of contract representation by the MNA.

The successful vote was the result of a determined effort by workers who wanted to advocate more strongly for patients and employees. The new bargaining unit will represent most non-management employees.

“We kept having more duties and more work to do as they outsourced and cut,” said RN Bonnie Harness. “We were really upset. LakeWood needed to work with us but they didn’t want to.”

A group of LakeWood employees contacted MNA in January and the campaign to organize began.
… Read more about: MNA Welcomes New Members in Baudette  »

Nurses flex collective muscle with three ratifications, two tentative agreements within five days

Celebratory emails were lighting up MNA inboxes for five straight days as announcement after announcement arrived of contract victories all over the state.
146 nurses at Mayo Clinic Health Systems in Austin, MN started the buzz with a contract ratification on Wed., May 28. 114 Mayo colleagues 40 miles away approved their agreement just one day later. On Monday, it was 287 nurses at Sanford Bemidji Medical Center in northwest Minnesota who ratified their contract.
The run continued on Tuesday, with two notices of tentative agreements.
… Read more about: Monster Week for Nurse Contracts Across Minnesota  »

Imagine everyone in your town wanting to let you know you are awesome. MNA nurses in International Falls don’t have to dream.

Eight months into negotiating a contract with management at Rainy Lake Medical Center (RLMC), the 27-member bargaining unit is literally seeing signs of support throughout this picturesque city that shares a border with Canada.

Over 100 signs, sporting the message “We Support Our Nurses” are being posted in shop windows; hoisted high by firefighters, paramedics and EMTs; cradled by senior apartment residents; and displayed on bulletin boards throughout the city’s commercial districts. It’s a message warmly given from the town often referred to as “America’s Icebox.”  In addition, members of several other unions in the area have signed petitions of solidarity for the nurses.
… Read more about: Signs of Support for IFalls Nurses Line the Streets  »

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  »

Sandstone SignThey are a gritty bunch in this rural northern Minnesota hospital. The 25 nurses of Essentia Health – Sandstone ran a vigorous organizing campaign and successfully won MNA representation in Dec., 2012. Since then, first-time contract negotiations have tested endurance and patience. Now, after 11 months and 22 sessions, the new MNA unit is fortifying its resolve even more over a management proposal to include a Management Rights clause.

The insidious paragraph is so vague, it creates a management perception that wholesale changes can be made on a whim. “We can’t possibly think of everything that might come up during the term of the contract and this language would allow them to think they could arbitrarily change something, and we’d have no chance to bargain,” said MNA nurse negotiator Tara Mach.
… Read more about: Sandstone Nurses Stand Strong Against Management’s Rights Clause  »

Bemidji-soupBemidji nurses served up chicken soup Sun., Mar. 9 in front of the town’s iconic Paul Bunyan statue to highlight the dangers of a sick policy imposed by Sanford Bemidji Hospital management.

Nurses face discipline if they use more than three sick days in a row or 40 hours of sick time within a year.  The “sick in” helped warn  community members that the attendance policy could force nurses to be compromised when giving care.  If nurses must work while sick, it could impact recovery if one is hospitalized.

The nurses served chicken noodle soup to all nurses and residents who come by. 
… Read more about: Bemidji Nurses Say Sanford Sick Policy is a Bad Remedy  »

(St. Paul, MN – Feb. 14, 2014)    32 registered nurses at Abbott Northwestern Westhealth Emergency Department and Urgent Care on Thursday overwhelmingly voted for a voice at work through contract representation by the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA). In a secret ballot election, conducted by the National Labor Relations Board, nurses voted by 92% to join MNA.

Many of the nurses at the new stand-alone emergency/urgent care unit located in the Twin Cities suburb of Plymouth have worked at other MNA contract facilities  and were eager for the same opportunity to have a voice in their workplace to be able to advocate for themselves and their patients. 
… Read more about: Nurses at Abbott Northwestern-Westhealth Vote for Union Representation with Minnesota Nurses Association  »

Owatonna   A management tactic to intimidate the MNA bargaining team at Owatonna Hospital backfired during recent contract negotiations. Instead of backing down after all four members simultaneously received disciplinary coaching on the solicitation policy for distributing materials, the bargaining team grew more determined to win a fair contract.
Their attitude was fortified by enthusiastic support from their 150 colleagues. A crowd of nurses turned out at a Nov. 18 action prior to a bargaining session to demonstrate the confidence in their team. The group also conveyed its resolve to hold hospital management accountable for a promise it made seven years ago that wages and benefits for Owatonna nurses would match metro compensation.
… Read more about: Owatonna Nurses Ratify Agreement  »

After another session in an eight-month long contract negotiation process ended without an agreement, nurses bargaining with the Allina system are calling for the health care corporation to put the community first. “We are deeply concerned that Allina wants to treat workers in Hastings differently than they do in other parts of the state, and that tactic will affect the care we are able to deliver to our neighbors and friends,” said MNA negotiator Jane Traynor, RN.

MNA nurses from all over the Allina corporate system arrived in Hastings early Tuesday morning to help their new colleagues deliver a message of solidarity on behalf of their patients to hospital administrators at Regina Medical Center.
… Read more about: Hastings Nurses Tell Allina: “Care for Our Community”  »

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.
… Read more about: Aitkin Nurses Demand a Fair Contract  »