100 nurses delivered more than 2,000 Concern for Safe Staffing Forms to Commissioner of Health Ed Ehlinger. They lined up to tell their stories of unsafe staffing situations and the effects it has on patients.
150 MNA member nurses came to the Capitol in St. Paul to tell lawmakers they want a Safe Patient Standard and that nurses and patients are not safe in the workplace.
Nurses from St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood describe horrific night when a patient suddenly attacked them. MNA nurses are fighting for workplace safety for all healthcare workers in all facilities.
Nurses braved the cold to inform the public they are fighting for a fair contract that protects patients and nurses alike.
Join other dedicated members of the Minnesota Nurses Association who are supporting MNA endorsed candidates. Go to http://www.mnnurses.org/policy-and-advocacy/election-2014-volunteer-opportunities
OR call Eileen Gavin at 651-414-2871.
Minnesota’s primary election is Tuesday, August 12. You have a chance to return one of the most accomplished state auditors in the country to her post.
MNA has endorsed Rebecca Otto for State Auditor. Otto has carefully served as a watchdog for local governments, including her role in reviewing almost 700 public pension plans, and promoting legal compliance and accountability.
Rebecca Otto (DFL) is one of the most highly-respected state auditors in the United States. In 2014 she was named one of the Most Influential Professionals in Government Auditing by the American Center for Government Auditing (ACGA). She has also received the National Auditors Association Excellence in Accountability Award for Best Practices Review: Reducing Energy Costs in Local Government. In 2011 she received the League of Minnesota Cities President’s Award.
Rebecca Otto has done an outstanding job for the citizens of Minnesota, and the Minnesota Nurses Association is proud to support her.
Not registered? You can register at the polls!
Join MNA nurses by speaking up for your profession and a minimum standard of care at the 2014 Minnesota State Fair. Go to www.mnnurses.org to sign up. Volunteer shifts are filling up fast!
Fairview Lakes nurses are standing up for a fair contract that ends inequities in pay between nurses in clinics and the hospital.
Nurses flex collective muscle with three ratifications, two tentative agreements within five days
Celebratory emails were lighting up MNA inboxes for five straight days as announcement after announcement arrived of contract victories all over the state.
146 nurses at Mayo Clinic Health Systems in Austin, MN started the buzz with a contract ratification on Wed., May 28. 114 Mayo colleagues 40 miles away approved their agreement just one day later. On Monday, it was 287 nurses at Sanford Bemidji Medical Center in northwest Minnesota who ratified their contract.
The run continued on Tuesday, with two notices of tentative agreements. Negotiators for 1202 nurses at Hennepin County Medical Center and 128 nurses at Grand Itasca Hospital and Clinic in Grand Rapids, MN reached deals they could recommend to their bargaining units.
“What an awesome week,” remarked MNA Interim Executive Director Julia Stewart. “These are strong contracts and agreements, secured by strong, determined nurses who want the best for their patients.”
All of the ratifications include improvements to wages and benefits, while rejecting management proposals that would diminish nurses’ ability to provide the quality care their patients deserve.
In Austin, nurses achieved a new level of authority in which they will have a say in scheduling and staffing. MNA Co-Chair Shelby Bell knows the nurses will seize the opportunity to reduce the existing chaos on the units. Under current terms, nurses do not have control over what hours or what shift they work. In any one week, a nurse may work a day, evening and night shift. “Sometimes you don’t know if you are coming or going,” said Bell. “What does that do to patient safety?”
Austin and Albert Lea nurses also made significant gains in parity to the insurance and retirement packages of their Mayo colleagues, including the top-scale nurses in Rochester, where Mayo hopes to establish a self-described “destination medical center.” “I’m hopeful this new contract will address the patient safety concerns we’ve had and honor the limits to what nurses can do,” said Chair Kathy Lehman. “Nurses want the community to know we have their best interests at heart and want to exceed their expectations. This contract helps us do that.”
Sanford Bemidji corporate management proposed policies that drove nurses to a “sick in” on a cold day in March. Nurses successfully fought back in contract negotiations due in large part to the solidarity members demonstrated. The group also won a 25-year step increase as well as 6% wage increases over the life of the contract.
Details for the tentative agreements will be made public after nurses vote at HCMC on June 10 and at Grand Itasca on June 12.
Stewart also noted MNA’s “Spring Surge” of collective activity was a fitting tribute the courage of nurse colleagues who took historic action 30 years ago on June 1, beginning the nation’s largest nursing strike at the time. The strike lasted 37 days and resulted in an important victory for seniority rights. It also spurred new, fiery energy among bargaining unit members around the power of collective action and their contract. “Nurses today know they stand on the foundation formed by colleagues who took action for their principles,” said Stewart. “These settlements continue to honor those principles – and those remarkable nurses.
The 2014 session of the Minnesota Legislature was a success for nurses and working families. Minnesota’s growing economy produced a $1.2 billion budget surplus in 2014, allowing Governor Dayton and the legislature to deliver middle class tax relief and new investments in our schools and our economy.
Minnesotans have seen remarkable progress over the past two years following some of the most productive, efficient legislative sessions in recent memory. Much of that progress will affect patients, working families and nurses.
Health and Human Services Policy Omnibus Bill: Signed into Law
The Governor signed the package of health policy bills (HF2402) into law. Several MNA priorities were included in the bill.
o Requires health licensing boards to temporarily suspend a health professional license for 30 days and complete a disciplinary investigation during that time, if they receive a report from HPSP that the regulated person has engaged in conduct that might cause risk to the public and the board has probable cause to believe their continued practice presents an imminent risk of harm to the public.
o Allows the 30 day temporary suspension to be lifted if the board does not complete their investigation by then, unless the regulated person requests a delay.
o Requires all health licensing boards to stay in HPSPS until July 1, 2015.
o Requires employers to report any knowledge of drug diversion by a regulated health professional to that persons licensing board unless the knowledge was obtained in the course of a professional-patient relationship or because of the person’s participation in HPSP.
o MNA supported this legislation to protect patient safety and to protect the privacy and health of nurses with substance use disorder who are working to preserve their licenses and careers.
o Bans the sale of e-cigarettes from kiosks and vending machines.
o Requires child-resistant packaging to prevent the dangerous ingestion of nicotine by children.
o Bans the use of e-cigarettes in publicly-owned buildings.
o Local communities can implement more restrictive regulations on e-cigarettes if they wish.
o MNA supports restrictions on e-cigarettes since the long term health effects are unknown.
Public Employment Relations Board: Signed into Law
On May 9th, the Governor signed into law a bill to establish a Public Employment Relations Board (HF3014). This legislation will create a board to decide Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) claims involving public employees, which includes many MNA nurses at public municipal or county hospitals (known in statute as Charitable Hospitals). Under current law, public employers and employees must litigate ULP claims in district court-a cumbersome and expensive process. MNA supported this bill because the PERB will create a process that saves employers and employees money and would mirror the ULP process in the private sector.
APRN Bill: Signed into Law
Governor Dayton signed into law a bill to allow Advance Practice Registered Nurses to practice to the full extent of their scope (SF511). The law gives full practice authority to Certified Nurse Midwives, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists. Beginning January 1, 2015, APRNs will be able to practice independently. The new law limits, however, CRNA’s who will continue to require a collaborative management agreement with a physician to practice pain management.
This law represents years of work by advocates for APRNs, and MNA was proud to support this effort.
Steve’s Law: Signed into Law
Governor Dayton signed into law a bill to broaden the availability of Naloxone (Narcan) for first responders to use in cases of opiate overdose (SF1900). The bill received near unanimous support along every stage of the legislative process. Members of both parties spoke eloquently about the disease of addiction and the great promise this bill has to save lives and give individuals suffering with substance use disorders a second chance. MNA proudly supports this bill, and we applaud the chief authors, Rep. Dan Schoen and MNA member Sen. Chris Eaton, for their work on this common-sense, live-saving legislation.
Medical Cannabis: Awaiting Governor’s Signature
Sen. Scott Dibble and Rep. Carly Melin, the authors of different bills to legalize medical marijuana, announced they had come to an agreement based on the House version of the bill, but with some changes that broaden access, while tightening restrictions to prevent misuse.
This bill will be the strictest and most regulated medical cannabis law in the country. Only patients with qualifying conditions such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, and seizures will be eligible. It does not allow smoking of marijuana. Instead, patients can access approved forms of medical cannabis such as liquid, pill, or vapor. The bill creates a patient registry to monitor the use of prescription cannabis as well as to evaluate the health effects. Governor Dayton has said he will sign the bill next week.
MNA supports legislation that would provide compassionate relief to seriously ill patients.
Budget Issues: Signed into Law
The Governor signed the Omnibus Supplemental Budget bill into law. There are several portions of the bill that will directly affect MNA members. Highlights of Health and Human Services portion:
Construction Projects: Signed into Law
The Capital Investment Bonding bill to fund construction projects included several MNA priorities. Highlights include:
Minimum Wage: Signed into Law
For the first time in a decade, Minnesota’s minimum wage is set to increase. An estimated 325,000 hard-working Minnesotans will get a raise to $9.50 by 2016 (HF2091). The minimum wage will be indexed to inflation in 2018 to keep up with the cost of living. MNA supported this effort because poverty is a public health as well as an economic issue.
Synthetic Drugs: Signed into Law
The Governor signed a bill prohibiting the sale of synthetic drugsinto law. MNA members actively advocated for tougher prohibitions on synthetic drugs and were vocal supporters of the bill. We thank Representative Eric Simonson for considering MNA’s input as he worked to protect both the public and medical personnel affected by those under the influence of synthetic drugs.
Women’s Economic Security Act: Signed into Law
The Governor signed into law the Women’s Economic Security Act(WESA) on Mother’s Day. The WESA is the most significant women’s rights legislation in years.
The Women’s Economic Security Act:
MNA supported this legislation.