RNs - Minnesota

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Nurses Prepare To Vote On Contract

Esme Murphy, WCCO, July 5, 2010 Minneapolis - On Tuesday, 12,000 Twin Cities Nurses will vote on whether to ratify a contract proposal with 14 Twin Cities hospitals. Tuesday was supposed to be the date that nurses were to begin striking, but that strike was called off after a surprise agreement was reached late last week. Nurses entering a union meeting across from Abbott Northwestern on Monday were somber. "We didn't get the staffing, which is a huge concern," said Sarah Lake, who is leaning toward voting against the settlement. "At this moment, I would have to say no, and that is where I am at." ... Nurses

Twin Cities strike ends (sic) after nurses compromise

Mary Vanac, MedCity News, July 3, 2010 For Twin Cities nurses who were poised to strike against local hospitals a week ago, the debate had descended into the familiar roles of hardworking, resourceful nurses versus financially besieged hospitals, with both groups claiming the role of patient advocate. But one crucial voice had been noticeably silent - the doctors. On the top issue dividing the Minnesota Nurses Association and six metro hospital chains - the nurses’ demand for set staffing ratios - the union representing local physicians was mum ... By the way, the looming threat of a nursing strike in Minnesota disappeared Thursday ... Twin

Support the Minnesota Nurses!

Fight Back! Editorial, July 3, 2010 Minneapolis - On July 1 the Minnesota nurses’ union negotiating team reached a settlement with management, averting a strike. If they would have gone on strike, it would have been the largest nurses strike in US history. The following is the text of a leaflet that Fight Back! prepared to distribute on the nurses’ picket lines during the strike. While the strike didn’t happen, we are sharing this leaflet because it lays out the importance of the nurses’ struggle in the context of the economic crisis. ... Support

One Nurse's Reaction To Tentative Contract Agreement

WCCO, July 2, 2010 Minneapolis - Sharon Anderson is a nurse at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis. "We were all shocked. I mean, we had no clue," said Sharon Anderson. "When I heard there's a contract, your first reaction is you're ecstatic because going on strike is not a good option." Some nurses aren't ecstatic. "I know there are people that are very angry, feeling like we gave in too soon," said Anderson. She knows how hard a strike can be. She was out during the 1984 nurses strike. That lasted 40 days. Anderson was one of 12,000 Twin Cities nurses ready to strike Tuesday. Instead, the nurses will be voting on a contract. ... One

Anatomy of deal: Nurses ceded biggest demand

Though the nurses union won big in a bad economy, it relented on its No. 1 issue, staffing ratios, to reach deal. Maura Lerner & Josephine Marcotty, Minneapolis Star Bulletin, July 2, 2010 For months, the nurses' rallying cry was "safe staffing." It was the reason, they said, for staging a one-day walkout in June, then threatening a longer strike in July. But over two extraordinary days last week, the Minnesota Nurses Association abruptly dropped its staffing demands to reach a tentative contract agreement with 14 Twin Cities hospitals that preserved its members' pension and health benefits. That left many people, inside and outside the union, wondering ... Anatomy

Nurses versus Hospitals in Minnesota

Angela Wu, Newsweek, July 2, 2010 A major goal of health-care reform is affordable treatment. To achieve it, however, the Obama administration may temporarily upset another aim: effective care. The trouble extends from the president’s pledge to make the new reforms “deficit-neutral.” That will require billions of dollars in funding cuts, primarily at hospitals, which stand to lose $155 billion in Medicare and Medicaid cash during the next few years. The loss should be offset by a boom in insured patients after 2014; for now it’s deepening a clash between hospitals and nurses. Last month in Minnesota more than 12,000 RNs picketed to pressure local hospitals ... Nurses

Minnesota Nurses Strike Shows Emergence of Unions in Healthcare Industry

Akito Yoshikane, In These Times, June 30, 2010 The recent healthcare overhaul has hospitals preparing for the worst, anticipating a future in which they’ll be the ones paying for rising medical costs with little help from states looking to trim their own budget. In turn, more and more hospitals across the country are looking to reduce their spending by reducing nurses’ pay and benefits. But many healthcare workers, bolstered by the dearth of unions in this sector, have increasingly begun to push back against the proposed cuts. The labor strife has grown in states like Minnesota, where more than 12,000 nurses are slated to go on ... Minnesota

MNA nurses reject hospital concessions

Deb Konechne, Fight Back! June 30, 2010 Minneapolis - Minnesota nurses returned to the bargaining table with Twin Cities Hospitals on June 29. Four days earlier, on June 25, the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) had filed a ten-day notice of intent to strike, setting the stage for an open-ended strike beginning July 6 at 14 area hospitals. According to a statement from the MNA: “Despite MNA nurses significantly modifying their staffing and wage proposals, there was little progress made in today’s negotiations with the Twin Cities Hospitals.” ... MNA

Nurses have mixed reactions to contract deal

Rupa Shenoy, Minnesota Public Radio, July 2, 2010 Saint Paul - Twin Cities nurses are expressing a wide variety of reactions to the agreement announced Thursday between union negotiators and fourteen hospitals. Just yesterday morning, Molly Ley and her husband had a serious talk about how they were going to handle finances during the strike. The conversation changed dramatically in the afternoon. "I was taking a nap on the couch when I got a message from one of the bargaining team members that we have a contract that is agreeable, so immediately we started talking about maybe we can go on vacation and maybe we can buy that freezer," Ley said. ... Nurses

Minnesota hospitals reach deal with 12,000 nurses

Associated Press, July 1, 2010 Minneapolis - The union representing more than 12,000 nurses has reached an agreement with 14 Minneapolis-area hospitals days ahead of a planned strike. The deal announced Thursday represents a compromise by the Minnesota Nurses Association on its insistence for rigid nurse-to-staff ratios. A joint statement says the two sides agreed to work on staffing issues through an existing system of committees at the hospitals. It doesn't contain additional details about the agreement. The statement says the deal still needs ratification by the union membership, but the negotiating committees have agreed to endorse it. The nurses went on a one-day strike June 10. A walkout scheduled for Tuesday was to be open-ended. Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press.

Nurses agree to tentative settlement without staffing ratios

Michael Moore, Workday Minnesota, July 1, 2010 Saint Paul - The standoff between 14 Twin Cities hospitals and their union nurses appeared over Thursday, when negotiators on both sides agreed to a tentative contract settlement, narrowly avoiding a work stoppage scheduled for Tuesday. The Minnesota Nurses Association, which represents more than 12,000 nurses in contract negotiations with six metro-area hospital systems, said its members will vote on the contract Tuesday, July 6. At least 66 percent of voting members must approve the contract for it to take effect. ... Nurses

Nurses, Twin Cities hospitals reach a contract agreement, averting a strike

Maura Lerner, Minneapolis Star Tribune, July 1, 2010 Twin Cities nurses and hospitals turned their bitter labor standoff into a surprise settlement Thursday, concluding a suspense-filled day of secret talks and averting the biggest nursing strike in US history. The 3 PM announcement stunned many members of the Minnesota Nurses Association, who had been bracing for a strike Tuesday. Instead of striking, they'll be voting on the agreement that day. At 1 AM Wednesday, the two sides had grimly broken off negotiations and announced that there was "no reason to talk." But by 11 PM, they had quietly returned to the bargaining table and hammered out ... Nurses

Nurses, hospitals reach deal; walkout avoided

Union members vote Tuesday on proposal; nurse-to-patient ratio demand dropped. Jeremy Olson & Christopher Snowbeck, Saint Paul Pioneer Press, July 1, 2010 Strike plans by 12,800 nurses next week were canceled Thursday when their union and 14 Twin Cities hospitals reached a tentative three-year contract. Instead of picketing Tuesday, the nurses will vote on the deal, which avoids pension and benefit cuts by the hospitals but offers lower pay raises than the nurses sought and incorporates none of their staffing demands. With the help of federal mediators, lead negotiators for the hospitals and the Minnesota Nurses Association met until 11 PM Wednesday to rough out the agreement. ... Nurses

Hospitals Cancel Ad Critical Of Nurses' Union

WCCO, July 1, 2010 A radio ad critical of the nurses' union was pulled from the airwaves Thursday morning, as a possible sign that talks between union nurses and Twin Cities hospitals may not be over. WCCO Radio said the hospitals abruptly canceled the ads Thursday, which were titled "Strike First, Talk Later." The ad, in part, states, "The union won't even consider our offers on the issues it says are most important. What's the union's agenda? You decide." Negotiations between the two sides ended earlier this week with both the hospitals and the union saying that no new talks were scheduled. ... Hospitals

Nurses' group endorses DFLer Powers for Congress

Pat Minelli, Shakopee Valley News, July 1, 2010 The Minnesota Nurses Association announced Wednesday that it is endorsing DFLer Dan Powers for Congress in the 2nd Congressional District, which includes Shakopee. Powers received the DFL endorsement for Congress with 65 percent of the vote on April 10. He will square off against incumbent US Representative John Kline, a Republican. “I couldn’t be more proud to stand with these hardworking, skilled professionals as they advocate for better safety standards and fair compensation,” said Powers. “I’ve stood in line with them in their fight to keep Minnesota patients safe.

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