Urgent Update for Bemidji RNs – Please Read!

13 Aug

Peter Danielson, MNA RN

Management’s campaign:

We meet again with management September 7th. When we first started bargaining under our new relationship with Sanford they were already plotting a strike at Brigid’s Cross on April 19th for anyone in the public to hear. The message overheard by our MNA staff Dan Engelhart was if the nurses don’t go along with the Sanford proposals we will prepare for a ‘work stoppage’. At that time they were already making plans for nurses that would work our jobs and take care of our patients if we didn’t go along with their agenda.  We called Bob Verchota and the attorney management had at that time out  the next morning in our first bargaining session and they admitted the conversation. We are still unsure if they plan on locking us out if we don’t agree to all their agenda of taking away our long standing agreements for our health insurance and pension for example.  We remain as your bargaining team committed to do everything possible to avoid a strike and be patient with the power you have given us through our overwhelming vote to reject the unacceptable position management has forced us into. The current proposal as it stand will divide our union into essentially two separate contracts and open the door to further and further cuts. The staffing language we agreed upon was through mostly compromise on our part and has no guarantees. It is another committee with some more enforcement mechanisms. We were told we would have to ‘trust the new management’. It is hard to trust when management wants to take away everything we have earned. Our experience with their own health insurance is that on its face it is very much a change for most nurses who have health insurance. We have many questions that remain regarding the network and coverage.

Unfortunately after many months later we are left to wonder if Paul Hanson and Sanford management has wanted us to strike all along. Or if they still may want to lock us out? We will never know these answers yet we need to show unity. The attempts to threaten us and intimidate us are only making us stronger as a union. We are one of three Sanford facilities that have a union. It is up to us to show them that we are not going to let the Sanford agenda dictate the future of our profession. Stand strong stay united and please talk to your union representatives.

At the bargaining table we are only as strong as all of us. United we will win!

Management will tell you all sorts of things, do you trust your retirement to the stock market? Are you willing to gamble on Sanford’s own health insurance that we already know will be more costly out of pocket for most of us, when we don’t know the network? These are only a part of the take aways from what we have that management has proposed. We have to show them that nurses matter more than new buildings and corporate GALAS!

We need to show management how serious we are to maintain what we have and that if their end of the compromised staffing agreement on ‘trust’ is not held up we will hold them accountable. Staffing situations lately have left us and our patients at risk. This cannot continue. We need you to commit to Picket on Wednesday August 17th!

— Peter Danielson and your bargaining team.

One Response to “Urgent Update for Bemidji RNs – Please Read!”

  1. Jenelle Haugan August 17, 2011 at 1:39 am #

    well stated!!!

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