Wednesday, September 7, 2016

THE ROOT CAUSE: MNA vs ALLINA

Minnesota Nurses Strike for Fair Treatment

I am incredibly proud of my older sister.  She has dedicated her life to the healthcare profession, working as a registered nurse in an emergency department.
Working long days consisting of twelve hours or more for weeks at a time, she works holidays, weekends, and various shifts.  Often short staffed, she not only picks up shifts to ensure patients have the care they deserve and pay for, she usually sacrifices her own time, to include meals and bathroom breaks.
Despite these conditions, she remains loyal to her patients, healthcare professionals, and hospital.
Now, the staffing issues concern me greatly.  See, not only are the nurses under-staffed, but so is the security staff.
With the assault on healthcare workers on the rise, I fear for my sister.  I have known of times when she was assaulted while working and it breaks my heart.  The nursing and security crew are wonderful, helping each other, but they are limited in what they can do, so injuries occur.  As you would assume, this leads to the staff becoming patients, at least until they are evaluated and cleared to return to work.
I am guessing this is what caused Allina to complain, saying that nurses often use emergency care instead of seeking treatment from their primary doctors.
Of course, the kicker is that when 4,800 nurses in the Twin Cities Metro Area, who worked for Allina, went on strike June 9, 2016, Allina replaced them with 1,500 nurses and closed units.  They also neglected to ensure all the replacements were qualified and properly licensed.
Adding insult to injury, they also beefed up the security staff... you know, in case the nurses gave them a problem (*snort*).
Really?  WTF?!
Allina wants them to get rid of their union plans for their inferior insurance.  Oh, and Allina won't discuss the staffing and safety concerns until the nurses agree to cut their plans for the proposed high-deductible ones they force their employees to accept.
The union insurances have been bargained for over the years, with nurses passing up raises in order to keep their healthcare plans.
Then again, so is safe work environments, which I thought businesses were required to provide.  Huh.
I have added links for you to read more about what is happening.  Of course, if you want to get involved, the best way I can suggest is to donate.  There are a lot of single parents who can't afford to be on strike.
Why are they then?
The answer is simple - it is the right thing to do!
Whatever comes out of this fight will be the new norm and all other hospitals will soon follow the example set.
If we allow Allina to be unfair to our nurses, then we will see this become the standard across the board.

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