Duluth Bargaining – SMDC Update (July 27)

28 Jul

Today was our seventh bargaining session with management of SMDC.

We  were able to share specifics with how safe staffing affects us and our patients. Management responded in full to all of our proposals other than economic. Their answer to pretty much everything we proposed was “No” or “We are not interested.”

Duluth RNs: Now is our time to get the same staffing language Twin City nurses have that helps them directly to advocate best for  patients.

One of our proposals would require management to pay for 15-minute breaks when we are unable to take them. If no nurse took 15-minute breaks that we are supposed to get, it would save the hospital $3,259,815 – the equivalent of 43 FTE’s. And if we never take a break we are giving the hospital $4,745 per year at an FTE. This is a lot of money we are losing and/or saving the hospital. The hospital’s response was that we need to take our breaks. In order to do that we need to have enough nurses to be able to take our breaks!

Our work so far to show management how serious and united we are is working. Today management announced they would be hiring 6.8 FTE’s for the ICU float pool. This is a direct response to our efforts letting management know what is happening to nurses and our patients due to our short staffing situation. They are starting to pay attention – yet it means nothing until we get staffing addressed in our legally binding union contract. Nurses in the metro have grid and/or matrix review, temporary unit closure to admissions and more that helps them advocate for their patients. We need it in Duluth as well!

Terry Bronniche

“In the newborn NICU we take care of the most fragile patients in the entire hospital that have their whole life in front of them. Adequate staffing allows us to do what we need to do to provide the care for these babies. A 10-minute episode can affect that child for the rest of his or her life.” – Terry Bronniche, Bargaining team, NICU St. Mary’s hospital.

3 Responses to “Duluth Bargaining – SMDC Update (July 27)”

  1. RN-Duluth July 28, 2010 at 9:42 pm #

    Yes they are listening. Too bad it takes them so long to make changes. I guess the add in the paper helped. This is a gesture that should have been done a long time ago.

    We need to get the language in the contract. Back in 2005 we had a severe nurse shortage in our unit. The problem did get resolved for awhile. Now here we are 5 years later with the same problem. Thanks for negotitating for us, I know it is stressful.

  2. 30 yr SMDC RN July 29, 2010 at 2:44 am #

    We took concessions on our pension a few years ago–we will never get that back. We do not have any staffing language in our contract as do the Twin Cities contracts–we need that. SMDC will not just give us the necessary staffing unless it is required by the contract –they have proven that in previous negotiations. The public needs to understand this is about their safety.

  3. Duluth nurse July 29, 2010 at 11:50 am #

    NOW is the time for all Duluth nurses to come to the aide of their bargaining teams. Get those lanyards and buttons out and wear them. Be in front of St Luke’s on Aug 3 to support safe staffing and show the public there is a serious issue in Duluth hospitals……

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