Owatonna Nurses Ratify Agreement

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.
On Wed., Dec. 18 that resolve produced results as nurses ratified an agreement with a 5.5 percent wage increase over three years; a significant increase in on-call pay; tuition reimbursement enhancements and implementation of preceptor pay. The nurse turnout for the vote was the largest in years.