A Letter to Our Valued MNA Nurses

A Letter to Our Valued MNA Nurses

Dear MNA Allina nurses,

Rose Roach MNA
Rose Roach
MNA Executive Director

This is long, but important.  As your Executive Director I was present for the 22 hour marathon bargaining session that just ended mere hours ago. I understand Allina has, as usual, communicated with all of you before we were able to do so (a clear divide and conquer tactic that they have become oh so good at) so I wanted to get this out to you. Please note, that communication from Allina lists the elements of their proposal but not the details because they want you to demand to vote on their proposal without knowing what that proposal will really mean for you – don’t fall for it, it’s Allina trying to cause division within the union.

I want to be blunt, we have felt from the beginning that this is all about union busting and if there was any doubt about that at all, it is now gone. Your amazing negotiations team went into negotiations yesterday focused on achieving what the nurses needed in order to avert a strike. It’s important for you to know that it was MNA, not Allina, who made the final proposal – we sent it to them via the mediators at 5:15 a.m. with the caveat that we would recommend a yes vote to the members if they accepted the proposal as presented. We will have that proposal, along with the actual Allina proposal and a detailed communication from your team, available soon. As is often the case, the devil is most definitely in the details. When you view those proposals please pay close attention to what Allina believes is “no diminishment” language once you transition into the core plans. They want to be able to decrease the actuarial value of the plans by 5% per year without negotiations with MNA – that would mean more cost shifting from Allina to the nurses. We countered that proposal to secure much better protection against cost shifting but this is clearly all about control for Allina since their message to us about that proposal was “we’re still too far apart”. We made a compromise proposal on charge nurse’s having a patient assignment but even that wasn’t enough for Allina – again, it’s about them having control and the nurses having no say so whatsoever in their terms and conditions of employment or for the safety and care of their patients. And MNA proposed a mere $1,000 ratification bonus because we felt $500 was almost an insult considering what you’re being asked to give up in relation to the health plans. It’s despicable.

For those who are interested, I want to share the intense struggle your team has been experiencing since filing the 10-day strike notice and how it is that we came to the difficult decision related to the insurance plans. It has become evident that Allina is not going to work cooperatively with MNA to save the MNA plans. Remember, Allina controls the elements necessary to keep the plan sustainable such as premium pricing and “pooling” of claims. For the past seven months your team has brought forth multiple proposals to work with Allina to ensure future sustainability of the MNA plans but on each and every turn, Allina said no – that’s because they want all their employees in the core plans so they are purposefully “crashing” the MNA plans simply because they can. As such, the negotiations team made the very difficult decision to propose a transition into the core plans on our terms, not Allina’s and to save the plans for as long as possible. The team knows that our nurses greatly value their health insurance plans and in order for them to even consider moving to the core plans, Allina would need to step up to the plate and recognize that by accepting something on staffing and security as well as monetary recognition for the nurse’s willingness to move to the higher out of pocket core plans, would be necessary to get a deal done. As you can imagine, this was a terribly difficult realization for the team to deal with but they knew, with an open ended strike just 72 hours away, they had to try to protect certain tenets of a transition that are foundational to the union such as no two tiered system whereas new nurses aren’t provided the opportunity to participate in the better benefits which is a classic union busting tactic – pitting members against each other – and to make sure Allina can’t change the plans at their whim without negotiation with MNA. If we could’ve achieved those simple “asks” along with some staffing and workplace safety protections and monetary compensation for making such a huge concession, we could get a deal and avert the strike. Unfortunately, Allina just wants all the control, they want to take more and more money out of your pocket, not put any money into it.

I apologize that it has taken a few hours for me to provide you just a taste of what we went through over the past 36 hours but quite frankly I am aghast. I am so proud of the courageous nurses who serve you on your negotiations team – they fought, they yelled, they calculated, they cried. Our hearts are heavy sisters and brothers, we tried, we really did. We appreciate your patience as we get you the specific details and documents I know you are anxious to see.

As many of you are now saying “we are the storm” – we are the nurses – see you on the picket lines Monday.

In Solidarity,

Rose Roach
Executive Director
Minnesota Nurse Association

61 Comments

  1. Proud of all of you! Hang in there! Typical hospital administration tatics.Don’t fall for their BS.I’m a retired R.N.35yrs and fought with administration my whole career.You can do this stick together get some Good Publicity.JW

  2. I KNOW & TRUST these nurses did everything possible to try to avert a strike. It is Allina that has dug their heels in, drew a line in the sand and intend to rub the nurses’ noses in it! Shame on them and I apologize now to the patients who would have to suffer if the nurses went with Allina’s proposals. A sad day for healthcare in MN but an omen of things to come. So BE SURE TO VOTE THIS FALL! It is only by legislation and mandates that these greedy corporations can be held somewhat in check!

  3. Ms. Roach,

    As an officer and negotiating team member I know too well what you went through. As a nurse for 33 years, I understand. My heart aches reading this and what the MNA RNs now face. Please know your sisters and brothers here at the Illinois Nurses Association support you! #NursesUnite #NursesTakeDC
    #NursePatientRatiosNOW

    In Solidarity,
    Doris Carroll BSN, RN-BC
    Vice President
    Illinois Nurses Association

    Co-Organizer
    NursesTakeDC Rally 2017
    Doris.carroll@smysofficial.com

  4. I am grateful to our union for all the negotiating time that they have spent fighting for us. What I’m not liking is hearing they are giving up on fighting for our insurance. Makes me sad and angry at the same time. Allina is winning. What are we fighting for? We, the nurses, want our insurance plans. I personally don’t care, nor want, allinas core plans. I can work somewhere else, with a lot less stress, and gat that kind of insurance. I feel like we have already lost. Pucketing doesn’t even appeal to me anymore.
    We need to demand our insurance. That’s one of the big reasons we are doing this. Why are you letting them get away with this. There should be no conversation with them, from you, about allina core plans. Unbelievable. I’m in shock. Really feel we are now wasting time. Just waiting , I huess, for the inevitable. Core plans. 😟

  5. The Perfect Storm is blowing in Allina! It’s on the radar. Here we come!!

  6. I respect and appreciate the RNs and all that they do for patients and the organization 24/7/365.
    “mere $1000 ratification bonus”?!?
    Interesting how it is “foundational to the union such as no two tiered system” within the nurses’ union, but you have no problem demanding insurance plans that are so out of touch with changes in healthcare locally and nationally and so much more expensive than the excellent care other employees get on the core plans. What do you expect from the universal healthcare your union supports? I think you will find that it is far inferior to the core plans, and you will have much less power negotiating with the federal government. (Not that it does not have real merit, but think through the logic of what you are asking for with regard to the insurance.)
    I value the RNs immensely and look forward to this storm blowing over, and I hope they are able to get better representation who has a broader view than just “we got ours and we are not letting go of it.”

  7. As an independent contractor who has paid out of pocket for health care for almost 15 years, and having worked on the line at Chrysler in 1973 and being the grandson of a union organizer of the UAW during the violent early days in the 1930’s I’ve always been sickened by compliments paid to the original Union Buster in Chief, Ronald Reagan. When I worked on the factory floor the Chairman of Chrysler may have made a multiple of 37 times the amount the guy on the line made- since it is common knowledge, the multiple of most Company heads is many times that now. Hence, the powder is drying if the middle class gets squeezed much more. But to fight so hard to not slip from a Platinum plan to a Gold plan as I understand it, is a recipe for a crash that is inevitable in our healthcare system as a whole. Its an echo of the old parable of the monkey and the nugget of salt in the hollow in the tree -the monkey grabs the nugget and won’t let go and therefore gets caught! Let go of the nugget! The Gold plan is good. Much better than most of us can ever hope for, the same as management ( always a nice point of comparison ). My deductible is $6,800. And only 80% of costs are covered going forward. Well this all easily sounds like jealousy and ultimately I offer that the only “just” system is single payer, take Canada for example. In the meantime, nurses getting the Platinum plan with little pay-in in the current environment seems the equivalent of the CEO making 204 times the company workers as is currently the case ( ok- a good health care benefit with little worker participation is not nearly as horrifying as current CEO pay ratios). But
    this stance by the nurses is truly Kool Aid aided. Most things in life are incremental- the nurses viewing this issue as an incremental ‘dis because only they know how hard those 8-10 hours are everyday in the hospital environment.

    But, let go of the nugget of salt.

    Our health system is not healthy- these myriad of cost squeezes will serve to hasten it’s coming apart.

  8. To Eduardo du Ganne,
    WOW just WOW.

  9. I hope the Nurses know they have a Cadillac Insurance plan. Google it. Obama Care is gonna slap a huge excise tax onto it, and even though suggested, Your Non Nursing coworkers shouldn’t have to pay for it! Do the Math. Look at your premiums now and that of the proposed plans. Subtract your out of pocket expenses. You’ll find the core plans aren’t such a bad deal. By the way…if you truly care for your patients as you claim, lay off the megaphones!! Sick people need sleep to heal!

  10. Can you please elaborate on a few things:
    1)”We made a compromise proposal on charge nurse’s having a patient assignment”- what was the MNA compromise that was not accepted?
    2) “to make sure Allina can’t change the plans at their whim without negotiation with MNA.” Can you tell me about how insurance plans can be changed “at a whim”? Does that mean insurance premiums or coverage can be changed from day to day?

    Thank you

  11. People who provide direct patient care (11 percent of American workers) are on the receiving end of 70% of the workplace violence in this country. (Data from OSHA and Bureau of Labor and Statistics). A 2011 study reported 12.9% of ER nurses experienced physical abuse IN THE PREVIOUS WEEK. The most dangerous place? In the patient rooms.

    Nurses are threatened, kicked, scratched, bitten, hit, and otherwise assaulted all too frequently while doing their job (some would say their “calling”) improving the health and lives of others.

    Alina, take better care of your nurses.

  12. Alina management should be putting this much effort into fighting to keep prescription costs and medical costs down and distribute funds from the top CEOs and take care of the nurses who take care of patients.
    I have been in a union for 35 years and have been on strike. The loss of wages during a strike is not easy, but you have to look at the big picture. Looking out for the next generations of nurses is what being Union is all about. Stay strong and remember why your healthcare is what it is, you have given plenty in wages and made other concessions over the years to keep it.

  13. HANG IN THERE,DO NOT GIVE IN!!!!

  14. I was on negotiating committees years agp when it was simpler here in Duluth. If my memory serves me correctly the Twin Cities Nurses have had their pension plan since 1947. When I was employed the health insurance was top notch. Stay strong sisters and brothers!
    I graduated from Northwestern in 1960

  15. I would challenge everyone on this post to compare apples to apples your “Cadillac” plan to the plan on offer. I debated this heavily during the last strike, looked at individual cases and spoke with blue cross/blue shield ( not allina) . The results addressed the individuals needs, same as the “Cadillac ” plan.

    The feed back I recieced was either no response , or the typical tactic, ” well what about the CEO’s pay?! Etc.

    Sorry, but the MNA has been misleading their members, and that is the misfortune here.

  16. Thank you MNA for all you do for us. It is so appreciated!!!! Solidarity forever, MNA makes us strong!!!!

  17. A hospital once again trying to get healthcare concessions from it’s nurses, you’d think that would be bad PR.
    Stay strong.

  18. Regarding MNA decision to forfeit the MNA plans there is a fairly substantiated rumor that the negotiators were ordered by Rose Roach to abandon these plans. This was not well recused by many of the negotiators. The reason for this change of position was that there was fear too many nurses from Unity and Mercy will cross. I think it’s time that senior leadership levels with the members about what their true intentions are. On the picket line this concern was subject of much discussion. Are we being sold out by MNA so they can preserve the union and their jobs at the expense of our livelihood.?

  19. Brian Abbott: are you a nurse? If so or even if not, with the rising healthcare costs, inflation, the stagnation of middle & lower class wages while the wealthy continue to pick the pockets of their workers, why should the nurses take a pay cut while Allina makes billions of $$? Are you willing to take a pay cut, because that’s exactly what Allina is attempting to do here?!? By accepting these “new” insurance plans, nurses will pay more out of pocket while corporate healthcare makes mores money on the backs of their employees (especially the nurses & other workers who have direct patient interaction, such as aides, janitors, housekeepers, etc). You should be THANKING the MNA nurses for being the brave ones to stand up to the rich bullies, which helps YOU keep more money in YOUR pocket!

  20. Carolyn, you are so misinformed. Allina doesn’t make billions of dollars, they are a nonprofit. They have to put all of their profit back into the company in new technology, new building, new patient care equipment. Get your facts straight. Also, no one asked nurses to take a pay cut; that is just an ignorant statement. I wish these nurses could go work somewhere else for a while so they could have a better perspective for how well they have it working for Allina.

  21. Maggie: YOU are the misinformed! Having been a nurse for 38 years myself, why do you think you know MORE about MY profession than I do? You are a typical, insulting henchman for Allina. I choose to ignore your “misinformation”!

  22. Yes “Maggie” your ignorance ought to embarrass you enough to zip it, but clearly you simply can’t. Poor thing.

  23. Stay strong, MNA! It’s obvious By some of the above posts that there are Allina trolls who want nothing more than to see the working poor & middle class to keep sinking lower & lower while the corporations continue to stuff their pockets with the blood, sweat & tears of the sick & those who care for them. Remember we are fighting for ALL nurses & the future of our profession. It’s a slippery slope DOWN for ALL nurses once Allina & their cronies bleed us to death! I know it’s TERRIBLY difficult for younger nurses to continue striking but, in the end it will save them thousands for years to come for the sacrifices they are making now!

  24. I’ve been a nurse for 29 years & I believe in unions but I do not support this strike.

    It frustrates me to see signs that say “Don’t take away our health insurance”. Let’s be real – Allina is offering a Gold + plan to replace the unsustainable Platinum plan. The nurses I talked to never even looked at or compared the plans. 30,000 employees are on these Core plans. Minnesota nurses are well paid and can certainly afford the same plan that other disciplines & employees have (many who make less).

    A family member was in the hospital just before the strike. We saw a few nurses wearing the “I’ll strike for my patients & my profession” buttons. I believe nurses are striking for themselves not their patients – striking for an unsustainable insurance plan. The other issues had been worked through. My hope is that contract nurses read the material for themselves. I believe the contract was fair & not worth the strike. I would guess that is the reason why most of the 400 nurses have crossed the picket line to care for their patients.

    One of the nurses taking care of my family member voted to accept the contract. The benefits were much better than he had in another state. Even though he didn’t vote for the strike he said he wouldn’t cross the picket line nor would he picket. He may just look for another job. He also said there are nurses willing to move to MN because of the salary & excellent benefits.

    Time will tell if this strike was worth it in the end.

  25. Hang in there! Stay together! I am a retired RN living in Oregon. Was involved in brutal.50+ day strike in early 2002. Painful and costly. Look back on it as one of my proudest times due to respect and dignity all the nurses regained by taking aa.stand for patient safety and economic security. The fight is worth it!

  26. Hang in there! Stay together! I am a retired RN living in Oregon. Was involved in brutal.50+ day strike in early 2002. Painful and costly. Look back on it as one of my proudest times due to respect and dignity all the nurses regained by taking a stand for patient safety and economic security. The fight is worth it!

  27. I agree. A determined group of individuals can change history and we have seen this time and again in US Labor history. Personally, the rhetoric emanating from Allina especially Kanihan sugests to me that Allina is concerned. They resort to attacks on the nurses rather than the issues. Hypocritical as they lauded the nurses before the strike and now they cast aspersions. If the majority of nurses stay strong you cannot be replaced. This is a ULP strike but apart from that if this strike went two months it would cost Allina. This is a union busting strike heavily influenced by Piper and Jafffrey. They love George Washington far more than you and certainly the community. Penny Wheelet et al are simply along for the ride. Stay strong and God Bless

  28. This is not one of those times. Hope you saved up with COBRA payments coming.

  29. Gee Ann,

    Cobra or Allina Health plans with ridiculous deductibles sounds like z wash to me. The so called Cadillac tax issues an Allina Pretext. Research this tax it had been postponed and both parties want it cancelled. When the Allina board is comprised of 7 Piper Jaffrey investment bankers with one as a the chairman it is evident to most that Allina is being overly influenced by bankers. In fact there is a COI. In time the nurses will prevail if they stick together. The only thing Allina will have to show for this mess is a company culture that had been decimated. They wanted this strike and now they will reap the consequences.

  30. D Hall,
    Show me the comparison you did to support your statement of “ridiculous” deductible.

    Below is the premium comparison between the most popular nurse Choice plan & the Allina First Core plan (both have the highest enrollment). The premium savings could easily go towards the “ridiculous” $300 deductible. The savings could also cover copayments or out of pocket expenses.
     
    Nurse Choice Plan 2016 Premium:
    Single $71.93 x 26 = $1,870
    Single + Child(ren) = N/A
    Single + Spouse = N/A
    Single + One $227.88 x 26 = $5,925
    Family $287.88 x 26 = $7,485
     
    Allina First Core 2016 Premium:
    Single $43.48 x 26 = $1,130
    Single + Child(ren) $104.31 x 26 = $2,712 
    Single + Spouse $144.81 x 26 = $3,765 
    Single + One = N/A
    Family $217.27 x 26 = $5,649

    Premium Savings for Nurses on Allina First Core Plan:
    Single: $740 savings from nurse plan – single
    Single + Child(ren): $3213 savings from nurse plan – single +1.  For more than one child the savings would be $4773 – family.
    Single + Spouse: $2160 savings from nurse plan single +1
    Single + One = N/A
    Family: $1836 savings from nurse plan – family

    Deductible: Allina First is not a high deductible plan. The deductible is $300 per person, up to a maximum of $900 per family.  This is not required for many services. 

    Out of pocket Max: $3,500 per person, up to a maximum of $7,000 per family.  Only three percent of employees met the $3,500 individual out-of-pocket maximums on the Allina First Plan last year.
    And the deductible does not need to be met before the coverage kicks in. In the rare case a participant reaches the out-of-pocket maximum, the health plan pays 100% of covered in-network medical benefits for the rest of the year.

    Medications: Not only is there is a $1,000 out-of-pocket maximum for medications filled at an Allina Health pharmacy ($2,000 for other in-network pharmacies), there is a $3,500 medical out-of-pocket maximum on the Allina First Plan to provide good coverage for people with serious illnesses.
     
    Network: Any BCBS provider in the nation is in the extended network. 

    Why let math and facts stand in the way of a good fabricated story? MNA is trying to gain sympathy from the public by disseminating misinformation. Allina is NOT taking away your health insurance.

    As I said in an earlier post, my hope is nurses will look at the facts for themselves. Too bad many did not take that step before casting their last vote. My guess is many will feel that the lost income & paying COBRA ($2545 a month for a family) was not worth it. Not that anyone will admit that out loud.

  31. Well I noticed you did not answer or respond to my other points but I will quickly address your insurance calculations. The reality is that the insurance is not comparable. I am not sure of the exact number but we pay about 8400.00 a year for a family of four. One of our children is diabetic, she needed a pump we pay 11.00 dollars for it every three years. The pump retails at 6500.00. Office visits for all of us 15.00 regardless of speciality. I use Advair, your plan does not cover it, I would have to pay 350.00 her month, their is no generic. I tried substitutes but none work nearly as well so I have to go on Prednisone. We would be limited only to Allina clinics or face significant out of network costs and although that is fine in some areas there are certain specialities whereby Allina is not my first choice. Merely detailing the above compared to your fact sheet I think the choice is a no brainer.
    Allina has completely underestimated the level of antipathy the nurses feel towards management. Your entire justification for this change is a canard.
    The cadillac tax is by no means a certainty. It was postponed because it was so unpopular by the time it kicks in another bargaining session will have past. You are asking the nurses to in effect take a pay cut as that is what this is and then you will funnel their health care dollars to Allina or Piper Jaffrey with absolutely no economic justification other than in the words of Mr. Kanihan “We go to have it” Give me a break!

    You insult the nurses by telling them in effect they squander their health insurance as they are . .. let’s be candid. “too stupid to make the right choices”. These are the very same nurses you laud over at the inception of negotiations. You insult them and then you have the nerve to demand concessions? These are the nurses that are require to monitor and exercise sound judgment for even the most acute patients

    A security guard in the ER. This is a big concession? If you cared about your nurses this would have been done years ago. Regions uses off duty police officers. There have been numerous instances at United ER and in the their behavorial health unit. I know as a lawyer that management is only interesting in spending money when they make money the only exception to this is when they are sued and they are compelled to make changes.

    Part 2 coming up

  32. The nurses are asking for a measly 2% raise and yet you want to strip them of their health insurance because ultimately this is all about control The industry is undergoing changes and hospitals are entering the insurance game in a very big way. All you have to do is google it.

    There are real perils with this model, now employees have to go to the company store for their healthcare and in addition they have to share very private information with their own employer We are to believe that Allina and for that matter most companies albeit profit or non profit will safeguard this information?

    Your board of directors reads like an investment bank, it is quite obvious who you are beholden too.

    Finally, this is only the first step and if we don’t fight this battle now the next negotiation you will ask for something else, i.e pension, greater premium costs etc. We are not just fighting this for 2016 but for the future of nursing as so many nurses have done before. The fact is most nurses are finding work or have prepared for this strike. It was evident when Allina wanted to negotiate alone without the other hospitals and these hospitals settled quickly with Allina being the sole hold out that something special was in the air. I would not doubt if there is collusion with the other hospitals and I am sure Piper Jaffrey is doing a fine job in bankrolling this strike(with interest of course). You wanted this strike , you got it and if you want to end it then you know can do that as well.

  33. You are not limited to Allina clinics. Office visit is $10 for Allina & $25 for other BCBS clinics (except mental health which is $5-10 anywhere). 90% is covered if at Allina otherwise BCBS is 80%. There are so many options. With your numbers the savings would be larger. Also, there is an out of pocket max.

    I looked at a job change not long ago but I ended up staying because the benefits were better at Allina. I think Allina’s health plan is better than most in the Twin Cities. I like having more choices than other health systems were offering.

    Who knows what may happen with the cadiallac tax down the road. Not worth speculating. The nurse plans are more expensive. I think the money could be used in other ways. More security, equipment, anything. I agree, the security guard should have been there long ago. Not sure why that wasn’t addressed in the contract negotiations years ago.

    And no, employees don’t have to go to the company store. They can go to any BCBS provider. My daughter had surgery out of state with BCBS provider & she didn’t reach her out of pocket max (even with multiple tests, office visits, PT visits, a surgery, & other medical expenses during the year).

    I’ve heard the pension argument. I think that is worth standing up for if that happens. Allina is offering a Gold + plan to replace the Platinum plan. All other items were resolved. This is why I do not support this strike.

    I’ve been a nurse for 29 years & love my profession. I believe in unions but not this cause. If you are not happy management then maybe it’s time to look elsewhere. I don’t think this strike will resolve those feelings.

    Best of luck.

  34. I will say thanks for the civil tone but I cannot support your conclusions. I also must say I am not a nurse but my wife is although I have numerous nurses in my extended family.
    I have absolutely no doubt that with our daughters pump supplies and my condition coupled with my wife’s back issues we would be paying far more for healthcare via Allina.

    The issue is just not the numbers it is also an attitude. Allina stated that the Cadillac Tax was “The Reason” for this change but that is not the case. The ACA could be eliminated by 2020. They want to capture a revenue stream that is going elsewhere. I don’t want my employer to control my health insurance decisions and cost, its yielding too much when in return they are offering nothing

    Doesn’t their deceit bother you? Look at some of the economic disasters banks have perpetrated on the country. We need banks but Allina’s culture is changing. As for leaving,that is quitting and she has put many years in at Allina so that would cost her as well. The reality is and as you mostly acknowledged; the reasons for this change is not economic necessity as they alleged but control. I am amazed after 29 years you cannot see the great strides nurses made because of their willingness to stand resolute I have no doubt if Allina was doing poorly the nurses would have passed this vote but if there is one immutable lesson in all of this it is If you concede something you must receive something back of equal value or you are merely taking a step backward.
    Does a company that cherishes it nurses cast aspersions, lie about the reasons why they need to eliminate a plan, treat the nurses like criminals as they usher them out under guard when the strike began. Not put a security guard in an ER but rather use it as a bargaining chip? They have alienated the nurses and will likely lose Abbot’s magnate status but they don’t care as long as they make more and more and more.

    I know my wife loves nursing and she likes Allina but this past year has been eye opener. In the end, all employees are simply an expense, nothing more and nothing less. Hospitals whether they are for profit or not, care only for the bottom line. Why else would there be a strike, they have been making a profit year in and year out.

  35. Sorry Ann one last point and its obvious. If this is such a great insurance and Allina is only going to save 10 million per year. Why the strike? Why spend potentially 8 times that amount or more to save 10 million per year that may never even materialize as this tax is not a done deal? Clearly this big risk is worth it coupled with all of the attendant consequences . They don’t need this 10 million dollars a year to stay solvent, they are not content with a net revenue of 140 million, its that simple. Its all about Control and weakening the union. If they get it, I guarantee this, you would have been walking a picket line in 3 years if you had not crossed or resigned. Their actions are neither reasonable nor altruistic. God Bless

  36. Very well said, DH & thank you! I am a nurse (38 yrs) in Greater MN & can see how these Allina nurses are fighting for ALL nurses in MN & the entire US. The eroding of union contracts & power is Allina’s TRUE reason for doing this. Greed begets greed & Allina & other healthcare corps are experts in greed. It’s sad to see the negative comments (which, thankfully are in the minority). Most of them seem to be based on jealousy & a total lack of insight as to the truth that WHEN WE ALL DO BETTER, WE ALL DO BETTER! These Allina nurses are to be commended for doing the dirty work to improve our profession & society as a whole. I walked the picket line on Labor Day & have contributed money to assist these nurses. Hopefully I’ll be able to walk several more times if this strike continues. But praying Allina will SOON do the right thing & negotiate in good faith.

  37. Why weren’t the nurses allowed to at least vote on the last proposal? The end of the month is just around the corner and quite frankly our family has already lost one paycheck and it is doubtful we can handle losing two in addition to paying for the insurance for the month of October. I think it’s great that some nurses were able to save up thousands of dollars in prep for this strike (was tiring and disheartening to listen to what a great “vacation” this was going to be for them) but unfortunately that wasn’t the case for us. We have two kids in college with one going to monthly dr. appts. Now facing the wrenching decision of possibly having to cross the picket line just to keep our heads above water. Where is all the information that was supposedly going to be provided to the nurses — “We appreciate your patience as get you the specific details and documents I know you are anxious to see.” Really – shouldn’t this have been sent out by now? The leaders of MNA completely miscalculated their strategy and this has left many nurses in a no-win situation. Must be nice to still be collecting a paycheck, it’s easy to tell us to push on, be strong! The union will be divided and Ms. Roach is to blame. Should have been allowed to vote.

  38. We all are facing financial hardships but I guess I would have to be forthright and ask why didn’t you foresee this coming and why aren’t you looking for a job. There are plenty of nursing jobs available and although it may not be what you had before, it’s just a job to ride out the storm. I think it is fairly evident to most nurses that this could be a very long strike lasting months. You can go without insurance for a short time and if there is a medical need you can apply to other insurances or pay the cobra if it’s that bad. Also please check out all the resources that MNA has provided including financial assistance. I work in a nursing home now and they are begging for nurses. Plenty of hours and in a strange sense a nice change.

  39. The last offer on the table was never accepted b Allina. The last vote that was taken was the last proposal that was sent for a vote. Otherwise we would be voting on every little change, the negotiating team needs some flexibility to decide what offers advance the contract far enough to ,writ a vote

  40. Your remarks are mearly speculation – that the tax won’t happen, what expenses will be. The nurse plans are more expensive for the nurses and Allina without the added tax. That savings on both sides can be spent elsewhere. Spending 8 x the annual savings now will pay for itself in 8 years.

    FYI – A medication we needed was not formulary. The doctor submitted a request for it and it was approved & covered. Do that for your medication if you need to.

    All of my employers have provided health insurance. Not one did employees control the plan. I do not feel that I’ve been treated unfairly because of it. Does your employer provide health insurance? How much control do you have?

    COJO,
    Were you at the airport marching with airport workers for living wages or marching with TSA for better staffing? How about marching with fast food workers for living wages? Those are noble causes. Those workers have every reason to be jealous. Walking out, not because your patients are in danger or your pay doesn’t cover your living expenses, but because you want your Platinum insurance instead of Gold + is not noble. The other concerns were addressed in the negotiations.

    The compensation for MN nurses is 30% above the national average. A full-time nurse at Allina earns an average salary over $87,000 (not including overtime and premium pay). The 2% wage increases is in addition to step wage increases that are already part of the contracts.

    Try to justify this strike all you want. Allina nurses can afford & should be on the same health plan that other disciplines & employees are on. Many of these employees make less than nurses but work just as hard. Other disciplines get hurt & sick and they access the Gold + health plan just like nurses will be able to when they switch to this plan.

  41. Sad nurse,
    I agree. You should have been able to vote. I’ve heard that same thing – many nurses are not happy that they didn’t get that chance. Now you have to prove hardship & beg for money out of the fund. It is a “last resort” fund so good luck. 10% of nurses have already crossed the picket line and I expect more will try to work before the COBRA payments kick in.
    Good luck.

  42. I am not sure what you are saying. As for the tax, it is speculative but in light of its history I would be willing to bet heavily against its implementation Do some research. Obama who wanted this tax pushed it out for 5 yeas he is kicking the can down the road. We could almost have an entire new presidential administration come and go before this tax is implemented. Let’s be real and some nurses will not like this but the ACA is bad policy. You don’t take a huge initiative like health care overhaul and shove it down people’s throats. Something this significant required a supermajority but it was never sought. However, it’s here and we have to deal with it but if you look at the numerous taxes and coops that were proposed, a significant number of them have been postponed or eliminated. The pattern is well established.

    As for your remark about reinvestment. Really? They wouldn’t put enough security in areas of the hospitals what makes you think they will do so now. This money will go either into enlarging Allina’s regional ambitions, line the wallets of Wall Street bankers via interest on bonds and an increase in executive salaries.

  43. Forgive the typos people, I am on my iPhone . As for the control argument you really need to think before you speak. If Allina wants to cut nurses salaries how can they do this unilaterally if they control the insurance? Quite easily, they raise the amount nurses pay for bi monthly premiums that is why this is such an important part of nurses compensation. On a practical level, I can go to any specialist regardless of location because I paid for that cost up front. With Allina’s plan I have to make inquiries and consider what they will cover and not cover. I have dealt with insurance administrators and wrong answers plus confusion are usually the by product of such conversations. I suspect you are not a nurse but an administrator. Anyways, I am honestly leaving to help my wife picket. Tally Ho !

  44. You are sounding bitter to me. Why stay at Allina if you can’t stand the company? Take the loss and start over with another health system. My bet is she hasn’t because the benefits are not better elsewhere.

    I would have preferred universal health care. I am still hopeful that day will come. I just hope I’m here to see it.

  45. I am not bitter Barb, you must be projecting, my wife will not cross, she would leave Allian for good. I guess you would not understand this type of conviction since you did cross. I can understand those in severe financial hardship as union is not a death pack but for most that is not the case, We are totally committed to this fight and from what we hear, things are not running so smoothly in the hospitals, Do you really think that we don’t have conduits of information. I need to put my iPhone away but I will respond to your next jab later tonight. Until Then, Solidarity Sista

  46. I am a nurse. Administration is not a job I would want.

    The premiums are less when comparing the most popular plans. You are incorrect about the specialist. As long as they are BCBS providers you can go.

    Knowing the facts of the plan you are trying to avoid doesn’t play into the fear & misinformation which is keeping you on the picket line.

    Good luck. Only time will tell if this fight was worth it in the end.

  47. There are nurses who work in non contract positions. I am one of those nurses. I have worked at Allina for over 15 years. My family has used the plan you are trying to avoid & I have no complaints. We use it regularly (including the extended network) and have never reached the out of pocket max. I like being able to see any BCBS provider. I have supported MNA in the past but I don’t support this strike for the reasons I’ve already mentioned. Again, stay strong & vigilant as you try to keep your platinum plan instead of the dreaded gold + plan.

  48. I feel compelled to make this final comment regarding this remark – “we hear, things are not running so smoothly in the hospitals, Do you really think that we don’t have conduits of information.”

    It is not what I’m seeing or hearing first hand. Many of the temporary nurses who helped during the first strike returned.

    I want patients to get the care they deserve from the temporary nurses while striking nurses walked away from their jobs. I hope striking nurses and their families feel the same way.

  49. Ann, your a nurse that crossed the picket line and you seem pretty preoccupied with this blog. So either you feel guilt or embittered. But let’s be honest do you really think that information coming from a person that could not honor the picket line carries much cache or credibility? You seem like your are trying to convince yourself. Good Luck.

  50. I feel neither of those things. Again, I work in a salaried non-union position. I am struggling to understand why the profession I love decided to walk away from their patients. It’s embarrassing.
    According to Sadnurse’s some nurses are looking at this as a great “vacation”. She is still waiting for details from MNA. Unbelievable.

  51. Well I think I laid it out was about as clear I can. I suggest you reread my posts regarding Allina’s justification for this switch is an absurdity 2. The insulting and offensive way they have responded to the nurses during this negotiation especially the line that nurses are incapable of making good healthcare choices. 3. Yielding control of their plans puts a unilateral power in the hands of Alllina that circumvents the bargaining table. i,e we will give the nurses a 3% raise but also raise their premiums by 3%, these are NOT equivalent. 4. This is the first step in trying to remove the union. 5. Your plans are inferior.

    It is evident to me you are not a nurse or if you are you seem to have an almost pathological fixation on this strike especially for a non union employee. Come on, at least change your name. The union is holding its own and that has got you nervous, I get it. There is nothing that you can say that will change my mind but it is your first amendment right to speak your peace even ad nauseam. Really, if you keep this up my wife will be think I am having an affair I got to turn off this email notification. Although I did promise I would do part my in combatting Allina Pravda . . oops propaganda. Why don’t you head on down to the cafeteria and get a big old cheeseburger and some fries and wash it all down with a 32 ounce Mountain Dew? I heard Penny Lane had reinstalled these for the strike. Such conviction that woman. So good night then- ok?

  52. Again apologies for typos, its that pesky iPhone auto correct.

  53. Ann: So MN RN wages are 30% above the national average. Why might that be? Hmmmmm, all the states with the lowest wages are RTW states. So, what do you think one of Allina’s plans is? Busting unions! I never said all those other workers strikes weren’t important! But how does putting more insurance/healthcare costs on nurses help the non-professionals? Your thinking/rationale would just create a race to the bottom while Allina stuffs its pockets with money earned from the blood, sweat & tears of their bedside providers. (BTW: did you walk any picket lines EVER?). MNA believes in bringing everybody up vs knocking them down.

  54. MNA leadership is taking you down a rabbit hole. How’s the strike working out for you now?

  55. DH. Strike was not worth it. Your wife lost weeks & weeks of income and more importantly the respect from fellow employees. Welcome to the Allina core plans. You will soon learn they are great plans. All of the other items were addressed so enjoy your depleted bank account. You deserve it.

  56. She lost ten days. They got to checks in September. Here is the issue. MNA was incompetent and weak the nurses were not. The issue involving Medicaid would have been leverage but they settled to early they blow it 2 days before the strike began returning to the Medicaid issue, it is very suspicious that the Governor called this session. The corrective action plan would likely not have filed with replacement nurses. The clock was running out on Allina and they needed a resolution quickly. MNA could have gotten a better deal. They may have known about this issue but kept it from the nurses in the end my wife is out 3-4days of pay. I make twice what she does. I feel bad for the other nurses who were betrayed and sacrificed more.

  57. She lost ten days. They got two checks in September. Here is the issue. MNA was incompetent and weak the nurses were not. The issue involving Medicaid would have been leverage but they settled to early they blow it 2 days before the strike began returning to the Medicaid issue, it is very suspicious that the Governor called this session. The corrective action plan would likely not have filed with replacement nurses. The clock was running out on Allina and they needed a resolution quickly. MNA could have gotten a better deal. They may have known about this issue but kept it from the nurses in the end my wife is out 3-4days of pay. I make twice what she does. I feel bad for the other nurses who were betrayed and sacrificed more.

  58. Nurses will be leaving in two years,Allina lost over 100 million and they will lose magnate status. Trust me the culture at those hospitals will be very toxic. Allina will be paying for years. Allina needs the nurses more than they need them plenty of other options for experienced RNs. So your gloating is misplaced.

  59. Wow. What a sacrifice. So she is one of those takers – a nurse who works the bare minimum 16 hours for FT benefits. No wonder she doesn’t want to quit. It’s a wonderful benefit for your family. Just like your new health plan will be. Not hard to make twice as much when she barely works. There must be a reason you are not covering your family’s health coverage. Poor benefits at your job? Don’t bother responding, I don’t care & will not be reading your response.

  60. She works a .7 How is a nurse a taker if she works..4 if they offer it? Perhaps Allina is so desperate for experienced nurses that this what the market demands I am sorry you are not in demand maybe it has something to do with your less than charming personality?

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