PRESS RELEASE-Nurses Call on Essentia to "Keep Its Promise"
Minnesota Nurses Association
Press Release


Nurses Call on Essentia to "Keep Its Promise"

 Contact: Jan Rabbers
(office) 651-414-2861
(cell) 612-860-8858

Rick Fuentes
(office) 651-414-2863
(cell) 612-741-0662
(Virginia, MN) - 120 registered nurses represented by the Minnesota Nurses Association at Essentia Health – Virginia are conducting an informational picket today in a public display of solidarity to achieve a fair contract that protects patients and delivers the quality nursing care the community expects in Virginia.
 “When Essentia leased the hospital, it promised to provide a fair working environment that would retain and attract the quality health care workers this community deserves,” said Denise Armstrong, RN and Co-Chair of the bargaining unit.  “When Essentia entered into the affiliation process, Virginia nurses turned out in force to support them.  Now it is Essentia’s turn to help provide the working environment needed to provide quality health care for our community and to attract and retain nurses.” 
Retention of skilled nurses is important because it positively impacts quality patient care.  “This is a big, corporate health care entity with a lot of resources,” said Armstrong. “They can invest in the skilled people who are at the bedside 24 hours a day.”    That investment has proven to pay off. Research conducted by Nursing Solutions, Inc. this year estimates that each percent increase in RN turnover will cost the average hospital an additional $331,800.
Friday’s collective action reflects the unity and determination of the nurse group as a whole. “We are all fired up,” said Armstrong.  “Nurses are sticking together like never before.”   Since negotiations began in August, attendance has been overflow at rallies and other events in support of the MNA negotiating team. 
“Nurses want to continue to be there for the needs of our community.  We want to keep our promise of quality care,” said Armstrong.  “We hope hospital management does as well.” 
The contract between Minnesota Nurses Association nurses and Essentia Health-Virginia expired on July 31 and nurses are currently working under the terms of the expired agreement. 

About MNA:

With more than 20,000 members in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin, MNA is the leading organization for registered nurses in the Midwest and is among the oldest and largest representatives of RNs for collective bargaining in the nation.  Established in 1905, MNA is a multi-purpose organization that fosters high standards for nursing education and practice, and works to advance the profession through legislative activity.  MNA is an affiliate of National Nurses United.

About NNU:

National Nurses United, with close to 185,000 members in every state, is the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in U.S. history.

NNU was founded in 2009 unifying three of the most active, progressive organizations in the U.S.—and the major voices of unionized nurses—in the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, United American Nurses, and Massachusetts Nurses Association.
Copyright © © 2013 Minnesota Nurses Association, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
Minnesota Nurses Association 345 Randolph Avenue, Suite 200, St. Paul, MN 55102 | Phone: 651-414-2800 | Toll Free: 800-536-4662