May 25 All-Nurse Update

Dear Twin Cities Nurses,

Tomorrow the Star Tribune is putting out a story about the internal letter Allina CEO Ken Paulus sent earlier this week saying he is so concerned/upset/worried about negotiations that he is going to suspend his salary until a resolution is reached between the Twin Cities hospitals and nurses. (A nice gesture, but what does this actually have to do with resolving any of the real issues involved in these negotiations?)

At the same time, just this afternoon Allina’s lead negotiator called MNA to say that Allina is interested in returning to the bargaining table only if MNA modifies our proposals. This makes no sense, given the fact that Twin Cities nurses resoundingly rejected the Hospitals’ contract and pension offers, and one would think the next logical step in resuming negotiations would be to talk about those rejected contracts, and perhaps the Hospitals would even come forward with a modified version of these contracts to discuss.

In addition, the Twin Cities Hospitals (including Allina) never addressed a single MNA proposal during six-plus weeks of bargaining, so how exactly is MNA supposed to modify proposals that the Hospitals never addressed in the first place?

This is just the latest example of how disingenuous the Twin Cities hospitals are being with their nurses, the general public and the media. They continue to say one thing publicly (we want to reach a resolution, we want to avoid a strike, etc.) yet in reality they are doing the complete opposite, as evidenced by today’s shenanigans from their negotiating team.

There is no way to get around this fact – the Twin Cities Hospitals seem set on forcing our nurses out on strike. Why else would only one of the six systems contact MNA since the May 19 vote? And why would that one system (Allina) propose such an outrageous and ridiculous scenario, asking MNA nurses to modify proposals Allina never responded to in the first place, and altogether avoid any discussion or revisiting of the Allina contract offer that 90-plus percent of its nurses rejected?

It is our hope that everyone can see through the double-talk the Twin Cities hospitals continue to employ.

In the meantime, the MNA negotiating teams met on Sunday, May 23rd to talk about our next steps moving forward. We are eager to return to the bargaining table after soundly rejecting the employers’ offer.

In the absence of a response from management, we continue our plans for the One-Day, Unfair Labor Practice Strike. We will give a 10-day notice to our employers before the actual walkout. There will be All Nurse Meetings next week in every hospital to discuss our plans moving forward.

Stay tuned for more information.