470 Registered Nurses at Mankato Mayo entered contract negotiations today as a united group determined to address troubling staffing issues at the hospital that members believe put patients at risk. Lead MNA negotiator David Nachreiner reflected the views of the mass of responses the team collected from colleagues throughout the hospital as he read the Opening Statement.
“My colleagues and I approach these negotiations with one primary focus. We believe our patients – our families, friends and neighbors of this community – face unnecessary risk when they require the services of this hospital. They face that risk primarily due to inadequate staffing and poor planning.
The nurses of this bargaining unit are very concerned about the staffing shortages we experience every day. Each of us receives about five texts a day requesting us to pick up shifts. How can that be safe? Especially when we’ve already worked 8, 9, 10 or 12 hours. Ladies and gentlemen, hoping nurses will respond to relentless texts is not a plan.
“The lack of devotion on the part of this administration regarding safe staffing only creates a dangerous environment to people of our community when they at their most vulnerable.
“To retain the quality RN workforce this community deserves – to make Mankato a destination Medical Center of its own – requires commitment and the power of collaboration. Unfortunately, we are troubled by recent actions that minimizes the mutual trust you hope for, exemplified by the unilateral changes made in health insurance benefits without input or consideration of impact to nurses.
“It’s time these negotiations bring a fair and positive agreement that rewards our dedication, our skill and our professional knowledge. It’s time we combine our expertise to reach an agreement that will recruit the best of the best and keep the finest of the finest. We are confident that fair wages, robust insurance and most of all, ethical staffing plans developed in partnership will lead to the quality care our community expects and values.
“Have no doubt, you will find my colleagues and I are fiercely united in our positions – we hope you join us for the sake of our patients and neighbors.”