Jodi Jones, a state psychiatric nurse with 25 years of experience, has won her arbitration case with the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter, Minnesota, including re-instatement of former rank, position, and back pay. In addition, disciplinary proceedings will also be removed from her personnel record.
Jones was terminated for an alleged error in theraputic judgment. Later, her employer changed the reason to a different reason.
For her judgment and care, Jones was disciplined and let go, but the arbitrator sustained the grievance in every particular on all points and particulars. He even took issue with the state’s case and noted it had failed its burden by “a wide margin.”
“If we didn’t have a (nurses) union,” Jones said, “I would have no chance of getting my job back. We’re just so lucky to have an opportunity to present a case.”
The arbitrator noted that Jones was in a tough situation with little counsel on what to do and that the state’s investigation was conducted after she was fired, not before.
Jones will be returning to work in the near future and collect approximately a year’s worth of pay and benefits she would have received if still on the job. Jones is the second state nurse in two years that MNA has won a job back with back pay and the fourth nurse to win re-instatement this year.
“I’m so grateful for all the work and time. They really believed in me. You can’t imagine the stress on you in that situation,” Jones said. “The resource (of the union) is unbelievably important. Until it happens to you, you just never know that.”