Minnesota Nurses Association members picketed outside of the Mayo Mankato Hospital (Thursday) afternoon. The MNA says they started negotiations with Mayo on a three-year contract in September but Mayo is refusing to come to the bargaining table with the entire negotiating team of nurses to discuss a new contract. Mayo Clinic Health System says allowing persons outside of the elected negotiation team to be a part of the process doesn’t lead to productive negotiations. Mary Turner is the president of the Minnesota Nurses Association and an I-C-U nurse in Robinsdale. She says the open negotiation process has worked many other places in the state.
“We did opening bargaining in the metro,” said Turner. “Duluth did open bargaining as well and they all have successful contracts so frankly, I don’t know what they’re afraid of.”
Kris Stenzel is a negotiating team member in Mankato. She says they’re presenting a united front.
“This is a great turnout,” said Stenzel. “And that tells us you’ve got our backs. And we are driven. And what drives us is you.”
Nicole Samples is another negotiating team member in Mankato. She says they’re fighting so patients can have better health care.
“We aren’t asking for better staffing because we want work to be easier,” said Samples. “We’re asking because our patients deserve it.”
A statement from Mayo Clinic Health system says their bargaining team has responded to all issues raised by the MNA and has specifically offered a detailed proposal to address the shared concerns of violence in the workplace. Mayo also says they have offered two potential dates to negotiate with the MNA this month but have yet to receive a response.