RNs - Minnesota

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Nurses picket Saint Luke’s hospital

Nurses and their supporters conducted an informational picket in front of Saint Luke’s hospital Tuesday afternoon. Steve Kuchera, Duluth News Tribune, August 4, 2010 Nurses and their supporters conduct an informational picket in front of Saint Luke’s hospital Tuesday afternoon. Organizers said more than 500 people would march sometime during the picket, to draw attention to ongoing contract talks and the stumbling block of staffing levels. The two sides have had eight bargaining sessions, and two more are planned for Friday and Tuesday. Event organizer Dan Engelhart said that on August 18 members of the nurses’ union will vote on either on a tentative contract or on a strike authorization. ... Nurses

Duluth nurses stage informational picket

Bob Kelleher, Minnesota Public Radio, August 3, 2010 Duluth - About 100 nurses and their supporters picketed Duluth's Saint Luke's hospital Tuesday afternoon. The union launched the informational picketing because of little progress in contract negotiations between the nurses and Duluth's two hospital systems. Cindy Prout, an RN at Saint Luke's, says the main issue continues to be nurse to patient staffing ratios. "Patient safety, patient care is our main issue in negotiations, and we aren't getting to where we need to go in negotiations," said Prout. Saint Mary's-Duluth Clinic nurse Mary Ann Starkovich-Hirsch said some movement in negotiations could happen later this week. ... Duluth

Nurses widen effort to raise staffing levels

Ron Brochu, Business North, August 3, 2010 Following a highly publicized one-day strike against Twin Cities hospitals, Minnesota nurses are doubling their efforts to establish hospital staffing guidelines, a goal they were unable to negotiate into their metro labor contract. On July 12, nurses took their campaign north, holding an informational picket outside of Saint Mary’s Medical Center to promote contract language that would establish nurse-patient ratios in Duluth hospitals. Today, they plan to establish a picket line outside of Saint Luke’s Hospital from 1:30-5 PM. ... Nurses

Duluth Nurses Conduct Second Round of Informational Picketing

Minnesota Nurses Association, August 3, 2010 Duluth - Less than a month after their powerful display of solidarity outside SMDC Medical Center, hundreds of Duluth Nurses will conduct a second round of informational picketing - this time from 1:30-5:00 PM outside of Saint Luke's Hospital - to call attention to unsafe staffing situations. "During their negotiations earlier this summer, Twin Cities nurses had to fight to maintain safe staffing language written into their contracts that allows them to advocate for patient safety," said Duluth RN Steve Strand. ... Duluth

Minnesota nurses union goes after former members who worked during strike

Sandra Yin, FierceHealthcare, July 30, 2010 Three nurses filed a complaint against the Minnesota Nurses Association Wednesday with the National Labor Relations Board, according to the Star Tribune. All three, who work at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, say they received letters from the MNA saying they may be subject to reprimand, censure or expulsion, although they had already quit the union before a 24-hour walkout by 12,000 nurses in order to work behind the picket lines on June 10. ... Minnesota

Nurses Who Crossed Picket Line Get Union Reprimand

The union says the fact they only sent out 77 letters accusing nurses of crossing the picket line shows how united the union is. WCCO, July 29, 2010 A union reprimand is opening new wounds for Twin Cities nurses who crossed the picket line during a one-day strike on June 10, 2010. The nurses union has sent out 77 letters to nurses saying they will have to appear before a union committee and be disciplined for crossing the picket line without resigning. These nurses said they had resigned before the strike and the union is harassing them. It turns out the Union doesn't have much power to punish. At most, the nurses could be kicked out of the union but still be allowed to work at union hospitals. ... Nurses

Twin Cities Nurses Roll Back Hospitals’ Attacks

Jane Slaughter, Labor Notes, July 16, 2010 The day an open-ended strike by 12,000 Twin Cities nurses was set to begin, the nurses instead ratified a three-year contract by 90 percent. The July 6 deal fought off steep pension and health care concessions and included modest raises but failed to win the Minnesota Nurses Association’s chief goal: enforceable nurse-to-patients ratios. The nurses had pulled a one-day warning strike June 10 and followed up with an 84 percent vote to strike indefinitely. Union leaders credit the strike and strike vote, along with their concerted efforts to educate patients and the public, with moving the 14 Twin Cities Hospitals ... Twin

Minnesota hospitals ask nurses to find efficiencies to cut labor strain

Caralyn Davis, FierceHealthFinance, July 14, 2010 Fresh off the news that supply management techniques from the factory floor are moving into hospitals, we now learn that some Minnesota hospitals are involved in a project to get their nursing staff to make more efficient use of their time so they can focus on patient care. Thousands of Minneapolis/Saint Paul nurses were recently involved in a well-publicized contract dispute with 14 hospitals regarding their stance that the hospitals should institute mandated staffing ratios to improve patient safety - a move the hospitals spurned, saying ratios would add millions in labor costs with no proven ... Minnesota

Minnesota Nurses Strike Advances Debate on Hospital Safety, Quality

Fundamental Health Care System Change Needed. Joel Albers, Twin Cities Daily Planet, July 13, 2010 The Minnesota nurses strike of 2010 demanded primarily greater nurse:patient ratios to cost-effectively improve patient safety and quality of care in hospitals. The hospitals maintained that they cannot afford fixed staffing levels and that nurses are paid adequately. This article substantiates the nurses' case with objective data: That Twin City hospitals are large, corporate chains, exhibiting monopolistic behavior, very profitable, with large amounts of assets and cash, and their "non-profit" tax-exemptions do not justify ... Minnesota

Picketing nurses say job cuts raise safety issue

The informational picket in front of Saint Mary's Medical Center was held to draw attention to what the union considers inadequate staffing levels. Steve Kuchera, Duluth News Tribune, July 13, 2010 Several hundred nurses and their supporters held an informational picket Monday in front of Saint Mary’s Medical Center. The union representing about 1,300 nurses at SMDC Health System and Saint Luke’s hospital called the picket to draw attention to what it believes are inadequate staffing levels. “I’ve never seen staffing levels as bad at SMDC as now,” said Bettye Shogren, a registered nurse who’s been a labor relations specialist with the Minnesota Nurses Association since 1984. ... Picketing

The next front in the nurse staffing debate: Duluth

Bob Kelleher, Minnesota Public Radio, July 12, 2010 Duluth - A dozen people have been hard at work in the basement of Duluth's Labor Temple, stapling red and white posters to wooden handles - the signs that a small army in red T-shirts will carry in front of Duluth's SMDC Medical Center Monday afternoon. Duluth is the next front in a nationwide debate between nurses and health providers over how many patients a nurse can safely care for - and whether nurse-to-patient ratios have a place in labor contracts. Their demonstration comes just one week after Twin Cities nurses ratified a new contract, averting an open-ended strike by 12,000 union nurses. ... The

Hundreds of nurses picket Duluth hospitals

Bob Kelleher, Minnesota Public Radio, July 12, 2010 Saint Paul - Several hundred nurses in red shirts picketed a pair of Duluth hospitals on Monday. The informational picketing is intended to help prod two Duluth-based health organizations - Saint Mary's-Duluth Clinic Medical Center and Saint Luke's Hospital - into a contract settlement with 1,300 registered nurses who work in the city's three hospitals. While negotiations have been described as amicable, there's still disagreement on the nurses' proposal to include nurse-to-patient ratios into contract language. ... Hundreds

Duluth Nurses Hold Informational Picket

Boua Xiong, Northland's NewsCenter, July 12, 2010 Nurses at Saint Luke's and SMDC are in the midst of contract negotiations with both hospitals. Not all topics like wages and pensions have been discussed yet but the biggest sticking point for the union has been staffing levels. Nurses are asking for more rigid patient to nurse ratios. One nurse says she actually tore an arm muscle while lifting a patient. She says she hopes hospital administrators will listen to her experience as a nurse on the floor. ... Duluth

Duluth nurses from SMDC & Saint Luke's hold informational picket - video

Tracee Tolentino, FOX 21 News, July 12, 2010 Duluth - Just a week after nurses in the Twin Cities settled on a contract, nurses here in the Twin Ports find themselves negotiating their contracts. On Monday nurses from both SMDC and Saint Luke’s took to the streets for an informational picket. “Everybody in this city gets healthcare, either from this system or from that system, whether it's you or your loved one,” says Tina Hietala, an RN at SMDC. Nurses from both St Luke's and SMDC join forces to form a united front. “We're out here letting the public know we have a problem here in this institution, staffing is a concern,” says Hietala. ... Duluth

Local Nurses Prepare for Informational Picket

WDIO, July 9, 2010 Over 1,300 local nurses are preparing for an informational picket over staffing levels at Saint Mary's and Saint Luke's hospitals. Hundreds of signs were taped, stapled and carried out to a truck at the Labor Temple on Thursday  The nurses' contract expired June 30th and they are picketing to get the word out about staffing levels. They want the new contract to give them a say in how many patients they can handle at once. ... Local

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