Press Release: Nurses Renew Call for Allina CEO to Talk Directly to Them

Contact:  Rick Fuentes
(o) 651-414-2863
(c) 612-741-0662

Barbara Brady
(o) 651-414-2849
(c) 651-202-0845

Minneapolis – June 23, 2016 – Striking nurses renewed their invitation to Allina CEO Penny Wheeler to have a direct conversation with them – and expanded the invitation to Allina Board of Directors Chair John Church, an executive vice president of General Mills.

“Nurses are growing increasingly frustrated with the resounding silence from Dr. Wheeler and the Board of Directors, who should be stepping up and calling for a resolution,” said Abbott Northwestern RN Angela Becchetti. “We invited Dr. Wheeler to sit down with us yesterday, but she has not responded. In addition to the chair we have waiting for her, we have added one for Allina Board of Directors Chair John Church, to sit down and have an earnest conversation with us.

“As chair of the Board of Directors, Mr. Church has a responsibility to make sure hospital executives are negotiating in good faith,” Becccheti said. “We are calling on him to help broker an agreement.”

Becchetti said more and more nurses are joining the picket lines every day, showing their resolve to stand up and get a fair contract.

“We had the largest turnout of the strike yesterday,” she said. “It’s time for Allina to do the right thing and talk to us.”

In addition to calling on Dr. Wheeler and Mr. Church to have a direct conversation with them, nurses shared their stories of the urgent need for safe patient staffing at a noon news conference.

Nurses are engaging in an Unfair Labor Practice Strike that began at 7 a.m. Sunday, June 19. MNA has filed numerous ULPs against Allina Health in part for failing to provide information nurses need to negotiate and for failing to bargain on non-economic issues in the contract.


  1. We would like the city, hospital administration, MNA members and potential patients to know that the environment at this hospital for AGENCY NURSES WORKING AT THE HOSPITAL is hostile. It is also dangerous to patients. Ancillary staff, HUC’s, nurse aids and nurses who are allied Health employees are being vengeful. The immediate care staff ignores phone calls, call lights, they ignore needs of patients, they purposely do these things and they are making an unsafe environment. Management is allowing these things to happen. They are retaliating on all levels. From Nurse Assistants to Charge Nurses and Administrators. They constantly question the ability of nurses who are on contract to keep the hospital running. They do not perform bedside care, they dissapear from units, they do not help out as a they are being paid for and also as they should because the needs of OUR patients comes first. We fear as a whole for our licenses because of their actions. It is hard to work in this environment knowing that agency nurses are being fired without question for standing up for themselves and for their patients rights. As a MNA nurse that is striking one of their main concerns is unsafe care due to staffing. Why then do you go into hospital and interrupt patient care? Trespass? Why do you and ancillary staff conspire to make a situation worse inside the hospital? Why do you think it’s ok to ignore call lights? To ignore patients needs, not make rounds and not care for patients? The environment at these hospitals is very hard to work in. We are all working to keep the hospital afloat while you are seeking your needs as nurses. We are working to keep your hospital afloat. Did you think the hospitals doors would close completely? Do your needs as MNA nurses supersede the patients care and patients safety? Every day patients are being put at risk because of YOUR actions and inactions. Where did your plight go? When did you make it ok to do this and not care about the patients that are in the hospital every day. You are constantly communicating with ancillary staff and encouraging they not do their jobs. Encouraging them to make this job not only hard on us as nurses but unsafe for patients. If we express concerns or use our roles as RN’s to make it clear this is not ok- we are being fired. For legitimate complaints. For legitimate concerns. We report real actions of retaliation, we report unsafe environments and are being persecuted. Ancillary staff openly questions our roles, our experience. There are so many things happening and we fear for our licenses. The care of our patients come first. We all have permanent jobs in our respective home states and we all perform high quality care. We continue to be ethical and compassionate. Empathetic. You as striking nurses and their coworkers are going against your oaths and at least job titles. You are purposefully not doing your jobs. You are purposely ignoring needs of patients to make a point. We are working hard inside and our patients appreciate us. Please star tribune staff, ask the striking nurses why they have trespassed into hospital. Ask them why they can hold those signs up that tell of unsafe patient care but they encourage and also participate in making unsafe environments. Every day. We believe these nurses have put their agenda and needs above the needs and safety of the existing patients. We would like you to know that we are working hard without breaks, without help and in horrible environments to give you the best quality care. Despite the actions of staff and MNA striking nurses. Please dig deeper and help us. We are inside these hospitals doing our very best and our patients express they are happy with their care. They hug us. They say thank you. They trust us. They go home satisfied.
    MNA why can your nurses trespass? Why are you allowing these things to happen? Why are the administrators allowing this to happen? Why are you retaliating on staff YOU sought to help you thru this difficult time?

    Fact: your members are aware their colleagues are trespassing and interfering in patient care directly. They are communicationg with ancillary staff and encouraging they ignore their jobs. They encourage their co workers to be hostile and not provide patient care. They encourage them to not be apart of the health care team.

  2. Wow, that is quite a rant. As a striking nurse, first of all, I would never go into the hospital, nor would I ever tell the ancillary staff to do anything that might jeopardize our patients. Any opinions formed by the staff are their own. I actually appreciate the fact that you are caring for “my” patients. You are the ones who make it possible for us to go out on strike and fight for safe patient staffing, workplace violence protection and adequate health insurance. It is a small minority of my colleagues who “blame” the “scabs”. But for the overwhelming majority of us our fight is with Allina.

  3. You may want to check with your members. I saw at least 6 individuals wearing MNA t-shirts talking directly to Dr. Wheeler at the Midtown Global Market yesterday.

  4. I’m not sure what the significance of that is.

  5. To the anonymous commenter: from the deepest of my heart, I sincerely apologize for any actions by MNA nurses which have limited your ability to provide safe patient care. If there are MNA nurses trespassing or otherwise hampering your ability to practice safely, I want to know about it IMMEDIATELY. I take this incredibly, incredibly seriously.

    As far as nursing assistants and other staff… the word we have received is that NAs are working their tails off to keep the facility running. We have not heard of reports of ancillary staff not doing their job (quite the opposite, in fact), and we have most certainly NOT encouraged ancillary staff to not perform care to the utmost of their abilities. We truly, truly want the ancillary staff on the inside to be performing to the absolute best of their abilities because we know that at this point, they are the glue. If MNA had told, or even intimated, to ancillary staff that they should slack off and do as little as they could, I would personally resign my position on the spot– and I give you my 100% no questions asked would do it in a heartbeat guarantee.

    That is not what we stand for and that is not what we do.

    Anonymous commenter– I wish I were able to get your contact info so we could talk. I hope you are able to take a look back at this and read my comment. If you do, please, please reach out to me as soon as you can–, or (651) 202-0692. If you have specific examples of MNA nurses hindering care or evidence that anyone from MNA encouraged NA’s to not do their jobs, I want to know about it and I want to act on it IMMEDIATELY. Thank you.

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