Member Blog: Now is the Time for Involvement in the Legislative Process

Note: the below is the opinion of the signed authors.

MNA Members, thank you for your service to your fellow members and communities. The work you do is essential to advancing the mission of the Minnesota Nurses Association and having a positive impact on the patients we serve.

As you know, working within our political system is a natural extension of our mission.  Through this work, we have been able to realize many of our priorities including

  • Fending off Right to Work legislation
  • Ratifying the contracts of our State of Minnesota nurse coworkers
  • Passing workplace violence legislation
  • Ensuring workers compensation coverage for nurses who contract COVID-19 at work
  • Defending our licensure standards by defeating the Interstate Nurse Licensure Compact
  • Passing the Safe Patient Handling Program statute requiring all health care facilities to have written patient handling policies to reduce workplace injuries

At this year’s House of Delegates, we will be considering a resolution (R1: Political Independence and Power for MNA) barring MNA from endorsing, supporting, or contributing money, labor, or support to candidates from the Democratic and Republican parties. This motion will effectively remove MNA from the realm of politics and close the door on any substantive impact we could have on legislation.

We feel this would be a hindrance to building nurse power and advancing our legislative priorities. We believe now is the time to increase our involvement in the legislative process and encourage our co-workers to raise their voices and drive the changes we wish to see in our workplaces and communities. Nurses have been told, face-to-face, at the bargaining tables that there are issues our employers will not negotiate, including staffing. This leaves nurses no avenues except the legislature, the Governor’s office, and even the city councils to use our power to elect candidates who agree staffing solutions are overdue if patients are to be cared for safely. Over the last ten years, nurses have become an even more respected voice with our elected leaders, which we can see by their appointment on state boards and committees. Nurses and MNA leaders have been at the table to help shape policy for COVID-19, drug affordability, and healthcare reform.

We hope you will join us as we talk to your fellow MNA members about opposing Resolution 1: Political Independence and Power for MNA and help us work to build nurse-driven power that brings lasting changes to our workplaces and communities.

Thank you.

Bernadine (Bunny) Engeldorf, 1st Vice President, MNA Board of Directors

Doreen McIntyre, 2nd Vice President, MNA Board of Directors

Jennifer Michelson, Secretary, MNA Board of Directors

Sandie Anderson, Treasurer, MNA Board of Directors

Chris Rubesch, Director, MNA Board of Directors

Susan Kreitz, Director, MNA Board of Directors

Laurie Bahr, Director, MNA Board of Directors

Mary McGibbon, Director, MNA Board of Directors

Gail Olson, Director, MNA Board of Directors