MN Nurses, Hospitals come to agreement


 

By Cirien Saadeh
Days after nurses voted for an open-ended strike, the Minnesota Nurses Association & hospitals have come to a settlement. The agreement is essentially the contract the nurses have been working under. The hospitals had been asking for “givebacks” such as cuts in pension and pay. MNA nurses will vote on the agreement next week. Here Cindy Olson, with MNA, speaks about the settlement and why some of the nurses are still unhappy with the agreement.
Details of the agreement in a pdfcan be found here
News Release from the MNA:
MNA’s 12,000 Twin Cities nurses will vote on July 6th to officially ratify today’s contract settlement. Voting will be held from 6:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. at two different sites – the MNA Offices in St. Paul and Park Center High School in Brooklyn Park. More details to come on media access/etc. for those locations. We’re anticipating having final voting results sometime around midnight.

We need 66 percent of our membership to vote “Yes” in order to formally ratify today’s settlement. If our members do NOT ratify the contract (which we obviously do not expect to happen), then we would essentially be reverting back to where we previously were in terms of negotiations/etc. As part of today’s settlement agreement we rescinded our strike date of July 6th, so there is NOT any current strike date set. If our members did not ratify today’s settlement and wanted to strike instead, then we would have to go through the whole process of taking another strike vote, giving another 10-day strike notice, etc. But again obviously we do not expect that situation to happen.

Statement from MNA Bargaining Team Member Jim Danielson, RN:“As one of the bargaining team members, this was a decision that had many facets. We have many people who depend on the hospitals and nurses to work together. With this agreement, we protect many people, both RN’s and patients. There are a variety of viewpoints and we represent nursing to ALL of them. We have professional obligations, we have emotional considerations, and financial. This was a fight, but it is not war. I, for one, do not want our patients, our nurses or our hospitals to be mortally wounded by our actions. We have other avenues to continue this fight for safe patient care that does not leave as much collateral damage. We will pursue those avenues and continue this battle into the future. Hopefully we will have an improved system 3 years from now partly due to this agreement.”

STATEMENT 

The registered nurses and the hospitals believe a settlement of the labor agreement at this time is in the best interests of patients and our community. 

The Minnesota Nurses Association and the fourteen hospitals that have been engaged in negotiations since March have reached agreement with the assistance of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service on the terms for new collective bargaining agreements.  The contract settlement is subject to ratification by the registered nurses represented by the Union, but the Union’s negotiating committees covering all fourteen hospitals have agreed to favorably recommend the settlement for ratification. 

The Minnesota Nurses Association and the hospitals have agreed to a renewed commitment to working through both parties’ staffing issues through the existing committee systems at the various hospitals. 

The affected hospitals are Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Bethesda Hospital, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Fairview Southdale Hospital, Mercy Hospital, North Memorial Medical Center, Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital, Phillips Eye Institute, St. John’s Hospital, St. Joseph’s Hospital, United Hospital, Unity Hospital, and the Riverside Campus of the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview.  This also includes a recommended ratification for the Pension Contract at St. Francis Regional Medical Center in Shakopee.

 

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