Minneapolis Miscount!

  1. JennyP,
    I hope this wasn't your hospital!

    Union reels after miscount
    MIKE HUGHLETT STAFF WRITER

    It's a shocker lifted from the Florida election playbook: In a ballot recount, Abbott Northwestern nurses discover a bundle of misplaced votes, and suddenly a contract covering about 1,550 workers -- instead of being approved by 49 votes -- is shot down by one nurse's decision to say no.

    Given the chaos, nurses ask administrators at the big Minneapolis hospital whether they can hold another vote and maintain their right to strike. But the suits say, sorry, the union formally informed them -- before the decisive recount -- that the contract had been ratified. By law, that means it's a done deal. Union leaders ultimately agree, saying another vote would be legal folly, potentially bringing ruin to nurses and the union itself.

    Recount

    [ June 07, 2001: Message edited by: PeggyOhio ]
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   Jenny P
    Yes, PeggyOhio, it is my hospital, and it is a mess! For me, My irritable bowel has kicked up seriously (for the first time in years), and I had a migraine yesterday. We had a meeting (actually 3, so everyone could attend) of the nurses and MNA and a labor attorney, and it got quite vocal. However, at the meeting I attended, it was pointed out that this would be the perfect way to bust the union if we let the hospital do it. We also decided that we support the nurses on strike, and we need to keep them in the news and do our best to help them out. There are some hot heads in our nurse group; hopefully, the more level-headed ones will prevail.
  4. by   PeggyOhio
    JennyP,
    I am so sorry for what your going through!

    Has anyone figured out why there was a discrepancy between the number that registered to vote and the number that actually did?



    How so "bust the union"? You were very much in the Cleveland "news". They talked about the strike during the baseball game between the Indians and the Twins!

    Cheer-up. Like my dad says, "as long as I'm breathing in and breathing out it's a good day!"

    The contract is for three years right? Then you can go for it again! Rest assured your way ahead of most of us!

    [ June 07, 2001: Message edited by: PeggyOhio ]
  5. by   Mijourney
    Hi. I'm irritated by the fact that I'm hearing nurses in my neck of the woods talk about going to MN to work. Come on nurses from the South! Don't think this way. If we can't directly support the MN nurses strike, let us at least stay out of it by not scabbing.
  6. by   Jenny P
    The reason that there were 4 or 5 more votes than nurses registered to vote was the system we used. When we voted back on May 17th (and that was our initial strike vote), they had the alphabet divided up into (I think) 6 different parts so that when you checked in, things were nice and orderly, and the person checking us in was putting check marks by our names. On the Saturday of the miscount, the alphabet was divided into 3 parts, and it was really busy- I can see how the person checking us in could have been distracted enough to forget to check someone off. In the future, the plan is that each nurse will sign their own name off before they get their ballot. So we do have contingency plans (and this is a hint for all other unions who are voting in the future).
    As far as nurses coming to Minnesota to work; how about if they work under the conditions that the striking nurses work under; AND AT THE SAME RATE OF PAY? Maybe if that happened, strikebreakers wouldn't be so keen to work strikes? AND they would be proving that they do it for the patients! However, I don't see that happening. I understand that the strikebreakers aren't happy here; those scab companies are not holding up their part of the contracts.
    So far, we are not impressed with the strikebreakers, but the hospitals are saying it's business as usual. There are lots of nurses out there walking the picketlines, though.
    Thanks for your words of support. The comment on busting the union was if the hospitals could keep the anger and dissention alive, I think it would be easy for us to end up without MNA as our union anymore. I do believe the healing has started, though (at least for the nurses who stayed at the meeting I was at), and we need to keep that going.
    I always find it hard to understand why the people with the loudest complaints are the ones who won't do anything to be involved or help out. Why is it that some people expect things handed to them on silver platters instead of realising that they can be part of the solution?
  7. by   nurs4kids
    We discussed this last week ..thought it may interest you. I had asked about what pay the scabs got that didn't get to work. I found out..they got a free round trip flight and overnight hotel and $500 for their "trouble". LOL..I think I'd be a pissed SCAB. hehehe they deserve it

    I'm with Mjourney..embarassed that my co-southern nurses are running north.
  8. by   PeggyOhio
    Mijourney,
    I'll second and third that!

    SOLIDARITY!
  9. by   -jt
    I dont think they have any right to be pissed at all. They knew when they signed on to those contracts that they were being hired BEFORE the strike, that they had to be on call, would receive only a certain amount for on-call pay & the strike might not happen at all. They CHOSE to go anyway, eyes wide open, knowing that there was a chance there would be no strike & that $40/hr plus overtime would never materialize. They knowingly took the risk of going there & coming home with much less than they expected - while using up their vacation time to do it. Nobody duped them. They accepted the risk, so what do they have to complain about? They knew the deal before they went.

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