Updated June 25, 2001; 9:40 pm
Fairview Nurses Ratify Agreement. Return to work Friday.
Statement from Jacquie Luoma, RN, Chair of the Metropolitan Council of MNA Representatives:
Today is the closure to this negotiation process and the beginning of what nurses need to do. Our focus must now be on making the contract language and the enhancements we have achieved, work.
Minnesota nurses have raised the level of consciousness about safe patient care. We are grateful for the support we have received from the community and legislators, and for the effort the media has made to tell this complex story.
We will move ahead with these contracts knowing much more work needs to be done. There is still a world wide nursing shortage. There are still concerns in patient flow within our acute care systems. But we also know nurses are engaged and determined to hold the system accountable to existing agreements and to move forward with more changes. Nurses will continue to stand strong for their practice, and speak up about safe patient care
Statement from Sue Buesgens, chairperson of the MNA bargaining team:
Fairview Riverside and Fairview Southdale nurses have today ratified the tentative settlement and return to work Agreement negotiated in the all day and evening bargaining session last Friday. Under the ratified agreement, temporary strikebreakers will cease working at Fairview and the MNA nurses will again take over as of 7 a.m. Friday, June 29th, 2001.
The new Agreement provides salary scales like those of other metropolitan Hospitals. It increases the Employer contributions to 75% of the family health insurance premiums and provides annual longevity bonuses ranging from $1500 to $3500 starting in the last year of the three year Contract. Of key importance to the nurses, the Contract allows bargaining unit nurses to temporarily close their unit to admissions when the nursing care needs of patients exceeds the available nurses and alternative resources are not available.
An important provision continuing in the total package is the limits placed on the frequency and number of pounds a nurse is required to lift; This takes on greater significance with President Bush's veto of the OSHA ergonomic standards. Other highlights are paid education days, fewer holidays for senior nurses, and increased differentials for evenings, nights, and weekends,
The Settlement was recommended by the negotiating committee. Sue Buesgens, chairperson of the MNA team said the settlement was a result of compromise by both parties. It's not perfect but it goes a long way to meeting the goals of the nurse group. Now we can get back to what we know best, caring for our patients