MN Nurses Respond to Tim Pawlenty’s Attack on Unions, RNs

14 Dec

Soon-to-be-former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty recently penned a blistering attack on state employee unions, including state-employed nurses. Below is MNA President Linda Hamilton’s official response, which has been sent to the Star Tribune and The Wall Street Journal, which originally published Pawlenty’s Op-Ed on December 13th.

Here is the response:

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s recent opinion piece (“Public Sector Unions a Burden”) was filled with the political rhetoric that our soon-to-be-former Governor has been using to start his 2012 Presidential bid instead of serving the people of Minnesota.

According to Mr. Pawlenty, government employees who care for our sick, plow our streets and teach our children should feel ashamed and embarrassed to be part of a union. Apparently, it is our state-employed nurses, snowplow drivers, janitors and teachers that are responsible for Minnesota’s nearly $6 billion budget deficit – not Tim Pawlenty’s failed leadership.

Perhaps the most absurd part of Mr. Pawlenty’s feeble attack on the working class is his contention that we should strive to rely on “predictable” retirement benefits such as 401(k) plans. Maybe our Governor missed the recent financial collapse where these “predictable” 401(k) plans of countless Americans evaporated into thin air? Maybe he thinks unemployed workers are able to save for their retirement?

Speaking as a nurse who spends her time working here in Minnesota rather than campaigning for higher office all across the country on the state’s dime, I can say without reservation that Tim Pawlenty’s true legacy is one of trying to pin our state’s budget woes on the backs of the working class while doing everything in his power to protect and reward those private sector, multimillionaire CEOs who continue to bankroll his political platform.


Linda Hamilton, President
Minnesota Nurses Association
345 Randolph Avenue, Suite 200
St. Paul, MN 55102

2 Responses to “MN Nurses Respond to Tim Pawlenty’s Attack on Unions, RNs”

  1. Amy December 14, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    Bullseye! You hit the nail on the head with this response! Hope this makes the paper. Why do people continue to vote for these jerks who clearly couldn’t care less about middle class Americans?

  2. Barb December 15, 2010 at 7:56 am #

    My answer, Amy, is that there are so many uninformed people who “buy” what these jerks have to say. For example, our last election. I can’t believe people would actually listen to what the tea party has to say but, our last election showed that they do. I listen to people like Glen Beck & think “people will see right thru this” but, they don’t. It makes me afraid of what might happen in 2012—Sarah Palin, President? We will be in REAL trouble then. With regard to unions, “Memogate” shows how much you can trust the hospitals (or other employers for that matter).

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