Tag Archives: Allina

Video: Allina Nurses Picket United for a Hastings Contract

20 Mar

All Allina nurses are united in their support for fellow nurses at Regina Medical Center and want them to get a fair contract. Hastings nurses are first-rate and they deserve a contract that respects their experience and ensures patient safety and the continuity of care. Allina nurses from Buffalo and Thief River Falls joined nurses from United and RMC in an informational picket in St Paul.

Nurses from River Falls show up to picket with other Allina nurses at United Hospital.  Bridget Nelson (kneeling), Kathy Bloom, Lori Morris, Ashley Greengard, Julie Schommer, Amy Hauenstein

Nurses from River Falls show up to picket with other Allina nurses at United Hospital. Bridget Nelson (kneeling), Kathy Bloom, Lori Morris, Ashley Greengard, Julie Schommer, Amy Hauenstein

Hastings nurses not waiting for answers

5 Nov Regina Medical Center
Regina Medical Center

Nurses hope Regina Medical Center gets improvements to continue to care for the Hastings community

Nurses at Regina Medical Center in Hastings are a determined bunch, and they want parity. For now, they’ll take answers.  About 30 of them attended the latest round of bargaining talks to meet with management and make a statement that they support their negotiating team.

One hitch:  management heard that nurses wanted to attend, and their bargaining team stayed in their caucus room rather than come out and meet them.  The employer, forgot, however, that their caucus room has a window to the sidewalk.  So, nurses tracked down their meeting room and made their statement through the window to force the employer’s negotiators to turn around and see them.

“They’re disgusted.  They’re frustrated.  They want it settled,” said chair Jane Traynor.  “They were energized about it (the session).  They’re disappointed management wouldn’t meet with them and it gave them a taste of what we (the negotiating team) have been going through.”

What nurses have been going through has been the run-around.  Despite beginning bargaining in April, nurses learned in July that Regina was being sold to Allina Health, but they’ve heard no explanations about how the sale affects their contract.

Nor have they said anything about Allina’s Metro contract being a model for Hastings nurses, who also work in the 7-county Twin Cities metro.

“Nurses want what Allina nurses have.  We are not second rate,” Traynor said, “We have to maintain the same credentials as any other nurse.  We deserve the same pay and the same benefits.  We don’t want to set a precedent in Hastings to accept less and have that become the rule for Abbott or other Allina nurses.”

Allina just held two mandatory meetings for staff but spent the session showing a PR video about Allina’s mission.  Management said they do want to be “compassionate” and “fair” to employees but also that they’re “solidifying” positions.

“That means layoffs,” Traynor said, “People are worried about their jobs.  And they didn’t say anything about that.”

Allina also hasn’t made a commitment to the Hastings community.  Regina Medical Center’s clinics and hospitals need work, including a new ER, and nurses hope new investment will allow Hastings nurses to take care of their neighbors.

“We have an older population here.  It’s difficult for them to go to the (Twin) cities,” Traynor said.

Breaking News: Leaked MHA Memo Reveals Hospital Execs to Ignore Public Promise, Instead Undermine Nurses

6 Dec

Media Contact: John Nemo, MNA, 651-414-2863 or e-mail

ST. PAUL (December 6, 2010) – An internal Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) memo recently obtained by the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) reveals that Minnesota hospital executives have no intention of honoring their very public pledge to work hand-in-hand with nurses to solve the unsafe staffing crisis that garnered international media attention during 2010 contract negotiations.

Instead, the explosive memo reveals that hospital executives from across the state will invest an extraordinary amount of time, money and manpower in a three-year public relations and lobbying campaign aimed at defeating any attempt by Minnesota’s nurses to improve unsafe staffing conditions.

“We are deeply disturbed by the details contained in this memo,” said Minnesota Nurses Association President Linda Hamilton, RN. “At the conclusion of 2010 contract negotiations in the Twin Cities, these hospitals literally told anyone within earshot that they were committed to working with – not against – nurses when it came to addressing unsafe staffing. Instead, we’ve learned that they are likely going to spend hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of dollars, countless hours of staff time and other resources to fight against the very nurses they’re supposed to be working with.”

The memo, sent by MHA President Lawrence Massa to MHA senior leadership and hospital executives, includes the following details:

  • The MHA has already retained the Public Relations firm Himle Horner Inc., which masterminded the Twin Cities Hospitals’ anti-nurse, anti-union PR campaign during 2010 negotiations. Himle Horner will implement a “coordinated, long-term, sustained media and public relations campaign focused on what hospitals are doing to ensure quality, safe patient care in Minnesota and why [nurse-to-patient] ratios are not effective or needed,” according to the memo.
  • The hospitals will also use Himle Horner, whose founder, Tom Horner, had an unsuccessful gubernatorial bid in 2010, for a “sustained effort” of “communications and strategic activities” in response to any legislative or public relations efforts by Minnesota nurses in regards to improving unsafe staffing.
  • More than 30 hospital executives from across the state – including CEOs, Presidents, HR officials, Government Relations experts and PR and Communications directors – will make up a “steering committee” designed to “guide MHA’s advocacy efforts.”

“The hospitals want to spend the next three years flying directly in the face of what they promised to their patients, nurses and the public earlier this year,” Hamilton said. “How is any of this in the best interest of the patients and the communities these hospitals are supposed to serve? How is this good financial stewardship and leadership from these nonprofit executives? The public should be outraged, and I think they will be, once theyread the details of this memo.”

More than 12,000 Twin Cities nurses conducted a one-day strike for patient safety on June 10, 2010. It is the largest nursing strike in U.S. history. Twin Cities Hospitals and nurses eventually reached a contract settlement in early July, more than four months after negotiations had begun.

Founded in 1905, the Minnesota Nurses Association represents more than 20,000 nurses across the state. It is also an affiliate member of National Nurses United (NNU), the nation’s largest nursing union, which has more than 160,000 members across the country.

Important Links:

Twin Cities Hospitals & The Great Recession: Fiscal Restraint Goes AWOL

6 Jul

Just came across an interesting read from MedCity News on the financial missteps several Twin Cities Hospitals took during the recession of 2008-09 – specifically in terms of trying to expand too fast, borrowing big money and gambling (and losing) in the stock market. Not exactly the picture of financial restraint and prudence one might expect from non-profit entities charged with ensuring their customers’ health and well-being comes first and foremost. What do you think? (Click here to read the story.)

An open letter to Allina leadership

21 Jun

June 21, 2010
To: Ken Paulus, Jeff Peterson, Terry Graner, and Kevin Graham

When you justify your request for cuts of my benefits as a necessary measure to exercise fiscal responsibility, I ask that you exhibit the same responsibility by taking the same percentage raises, the same pension cuts, the same hour/FTE cuts as those asked of me.

When you claim the need for “belt tightening” as a resource stewardship measure, I ask that you restrain from duplicating serivces, spend on new faciilties, or enhance existing facilities with expensive cosmetic improvements.  I also ask that you consider your staff a valuable resource in your organization.  You might also want to curtail the catering and extra perks to the Command Center if fiscal responsibility is your main objective.

When you welcome us and state your appreciation for nursing, I ask that you do not illegally lock out my brothers and sisters from work, treat us like criminals, and utilize security as means of intimidation.  Do not portray us to the media as a group of greedy individuals.  Your words must be consistent with your actions if your want our trust.

When you feel the need to remind me of the need for professionalism, I ask you to remember that I am the one caring for these patients 24/7, I am the one making excuses concerning your lack of bedside manner or your current unavailability, I am the primary CAREGIVER of those patients.   Do not demean me and yourself by taking the patronizing attitude of reminding me that patients come first.

When you try to incite my fears and tell me that in this economy I am lucky to have a job.  I ask you to remember the contributions I have made to Allina.   My willingness to take voluntary leaves of absence when needed, matched with my ability to pick up overtime, has not only allowed you to meet the bottom line, but also allowed you to meet our community needs.  I have demonstrated my flexibility, but there are limits.

When you feel the need to communicte your disappointment for those willing to defend safe staffing ratios or when you question my commitment to my patients, I ask you to remember the unsafe events / staffing of June 10 2010, despite overstaffing to levels above and beyond what we are asking in our current proposals, we all know that things did not go as well as you claim.  Please do not insult my intelligence by claiming otherwise.

When you state your support for the Nursing Department, I ask you that, in the future, you have the same visibility as the one given to the replacement staff on June 10, 2010.  Some of us have worked here for years and still do not know what you look like.  Don’t be shy, visit sometime and maybe you will gain a better understanding of our work and contributions.


Abbott Northwestern RN

Allina and MNA Proposals: Side-by-Side

16 Jun

ALLINA NURSES: Please take a moment to look at the Allina and MNA Proposals as of June 15 side by side.

Allina All Nurse Meetings June 17-18

14 Jun

Breaking News: Hospitals Violate Contract, Won’t Let Nurses Return to Work (June 11)

11 Jun

Several Twin Cities Hospitals illegally locked out Twin Cities RNs today by not following language in the labor contract regarding how Twin Cities nurses are supposed to be called (or not called) back to work. Some hospitals also did not follow the contract language dictating that nurses are supposed to be called back by seniority. MNA has filed Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges with the National Labor Relations Board.

Hospitals involved include:

  • Abbott Northwestern – Illegally locked out at least 60 RNs
  • Children’s Minneapolis – Illegally locked out at least 12 RNs
  • Children’s St. Paul – Illegally locked out at least 20 RNs
  • United Hospital – Illegally locked out at least 30 RNs

Media Contact: John Nemo, MNA, 651-414-2863

Unity Nurses: All-RN Meetings June 3

26 May

Mercy RNs: All-RN Meetings June 3

26 May