September 7, 2016 - Nurses with the Minnesota Nurses Association are requesting to present their case for a fair contract directly to the Allina Health Board of Directors. Nurses believe the Allina negotiating team is not delivering accurate information to hospital leadership and the board, which is prolonging the strike.
“Allina Health will spend $20 million every week the nurses are on strike,” said Rose Roach, MNA executive director. “How can the stewards of a not-for-profit healthcare company allow that to happen when we were just $2 million away from a deal at the bargaining table?”
Talks between Allina negotiators and the nurses’ negotiating team broke off at 6 a.m. Saturday, September 3, when the hospital team left the table. Federal mediators involved in negotiations told nurses the hospital team felt they were too far apart and that the hospitals’ team would not respond to a pending proposal by nurses.
“As the members of the board, they have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure decisions being made are in the best interests of the hospitals,” Roach said. “Allowing Allina to take away good healthcare coverage from nurses, alienating a vital employee group, and hemorrhaging money through replacement worker agencies is not being a good trustee of a community resource.”
MNA is sending a formal letter to the Allina Board Chair, John Church, to request time on the agenda at the next meeting. Nurses are also taking the request to the internet and buying ads on social media channels asking individual board members to act. The ads target Church, a vice\ president at General Mills; Mark Jordhal, president of US Bank Wealth Management; Debra Schoneman, chief financial officer for Piper Jaffray; and Sally Smith, chief executive officer of Buffalo Wild Wings.
(A copy of the letter
and the ads
are on MNA's website)
“The nurses have been reading what Allina has been telling the media,” said Angela Becchetti, Registered Nurse at Abbott Northwestern Hospital and a member of the nurses’ negotiating team. “If the board is hearing the same thing, they’re not getting accurate information about what’s been going on. They’re in the dark. They need to hear how their negotiating team has treated nurses over the past seven months.”
Nurses began negotiating with Allina in February for a new three-year contract, but during the first six months of talks, hospital negotiators would only discuss the termination of nurses’ health insurance plans and not nurses’ proposals to address workplace safety concerns and staffing improvements.
MNA has filed new Unfair Labor Practice charges against Allina Health for surface bargaining or failing to negotiate fairly at the table, which is a violation of the National Labor Relations Act.
No new negotiations have been set.