Costs added up as nursing strike loomed

To deal with a one-day strike and planning for a subsequent walkout that didn't happen, hospitals in the Twin Cities spent $23.8 million this year to maintain operations during a contentious contract dispute with nurses. Full Story
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Since: Jun 09

Lincoln, NE

#23 Sep 14, 2010
Fellow Hospital Employee wrote:
Putting patients first is a crock and the nurses know it, it was about them all the way through and to prove it they accepted a contract that only benefited themselves! No other way to look at it. They took a contract that changed nothing for anyone but the nurses.
But watch, it will be you or your coworkers who take the pinkslips issued to cover this cost. It will be you who works short because of the layoffs. It won't be them, their contract most likely guarantees that. But hey, nurses are the only ones who work around there the way the union talks. What a crock.
Ted

Saint Paul, MN

#24 Sep 14, 2010
derf wrote:
$1600 -$2400/day for a substitute nurse. WOW! To think that we pay a substitute teacher about $10/day.
Well, just had my car repaired for $90/hour.
Seems something if a little out of whack here.
You cannot make those comparisons. Most of the replacement nurses were flown in from out of town.
Joe Merlot

Saint Paul, MN

#25 Sep 14, 2010
Mike wrote:
<quoted text>Then, you must be a CEO, here to tell us all how we can't do without you. Because you can gouge us, doesn't mean it should be happening. The "if you can do-it-yourself" attitude shows your compassion. Again, the world has changed, and it's all about me and what's in it for me. Don't bring your "I'm better, smarter or richer" than you attitude here and expect it to fly.
Hi Mike,

I judged your post on the lack of cost accountability in health care positively. It is a very apropos point and one that was almost completely lost in the health care "reform" effort that focused 90% of it's efforts on providing insurance to participate in our extremely lax and inefficient health care system and very little on fixing the system itself.

That said I find your position above somewhat short sighted and rooted more in class warfare than rooted in logic as was your comment on the health care system. The discussion is considerably more complex than one workers perception of another workers value. The means and implications for preventing income disparity in a free market economy rooted in capitalism are many and profound. I would submit that a petty discussion of what one thinks another is worth is somewhat of a waste of ones breath and advances nothing other than the resolution of ones frustration at the cost of another's all the while solving nothing.
Quigely

Minneapolis, MN

#26 Sep 14, 2010
Where is the WOW wrote:
"The hospitals folded and the nurses won on this one"
What did the nurses win, same contract for three more years - WOW what a victory. It was the nurses going back and begging for the same contract the union turned down.
Actually it was the hospitals that called and intiated the talks that led to a status quo contract settlement. Through these talks the employers offered a status quo contract, which was voted for and ratified by the metro nurses. One fact check-we never turned down our original contract! We rejected all the concessions they had proposed earlier in the negotiations which led to the one day strike and the vote for an open ended strike. No begging involved, just the employer buckling to the unity of the metro nurses and the pressures of the open ended strike.
RealityCheck

Chisago City, MN

#27 Sep 14, 2010
When are these "caring professionals" going to cut the crap and just admit it's really about money? Obviously it wasn't about patient care in the cities when they didn't get the staffing ratios changed but they got their pay increase! So...I'm guessing that the Duluth nurses (ahem..."caring professionals") are following suit. SHAME ON YOU!
Intheknow

Minneapolis, MN

#28 Sep 14, 2010
These aren't the total costs, just the ones through June. Remember there was threat of another strike in July, so we had additional expenses. The avoided labor for the June 10th strike was only $150,000 at my hospital, so reducing that from the 1.5-2.0 million isn't that significant.
Real Nurse

Saint Paul, MN

#29 Sep 14, 2010
Where is the WOW wrote:
"The hospitals folded and the nurses won on this one"
What did the nurses win, same contract for three more years - WOW what a victory. It was the nurses going back and begging for the same contract the union turned down.
The nurses did NOT beg for the same contract the union turned down. We voted down a ridiculous proposal by management. In an overwhelming vote the nurses turned down the so-called "offer." The hospitals had to back down on their demands to basically take away any agency nurses had over their profession which had been worked for and negotiated for over decades. Long Live the Nurses!
RIOT

Madison, WI

#31 Sep 14, 2010
Good TImes wrote:
$23.8 million is chump change for the CEO's of these corporations.
First of all it doesn't come out of their salaries, how stupid are you? This comes on the backs of the patients in the hospital the ones who pay the bill. Note if you are on welfare you aren't paying either. This also is why some of the hospitals have to reduce their staff, gee so how do those nurses feel getting a pink slip because of a strike your union threatened.
RIOT

Madison, WI

#32 Sep 14, 2010
Janet Humphrey wrote:
I was quite disgusted with the comments by hospitals' management blaming nurses for inflicting "unnecessary" costs on the system. The strike was completely necessary. Over 35 years of progress made in many ways in our contracts would have been tossed out the window. The "proposal" they wanted us to take or leave was 100 per cent give-backs. It would clearly have set the profession back many years and made nursing a far less desirable profession. This strike was absolutely necessary and the hospitals' inflammatory proposal and refusal to negotiate with the nurses at all on anything was totally responsible for the strike. Strikes are not something we undertake frivolously. I don't think there was a single nurse who really wanted a strike. But to vote in favor of the "proposal" management put on the table would have been disastrous for our patients, our hospitals, and our profession. Hospitals are well served when nurses are empowered. This "proposal" would have been completely dis-empowering.
Why don't you explain what this really means. I don't see anything posted here that is real or factual. I see a lot of rhetoric and double talk. What was the offer by management give us dollars and cents then what did the union want, give us dollars and cents. If you want our sympathy then give us the real facts.
Imagine

Saint Paul, MN

#33 Sep 14, 2010
But its all about patient care!!!
RJS

Marietta, GA

#34 Sep 14, 2010
Nice job, MNA. You continue to add negative value to the healthcare continuum. Please, do us all a favor and just go away.
allinastaff

Saint Paul, MN

#35 Sep 14, 2010
Really wrote:
the writer is a member of the papers union and that should be disclosed with his byline
so ignorant. You guys voted for the same contract you had. no ratios. no raise year one. You lost. You got snowed by the national nurses union. You're lucky you didn't have a protracted strike because you would have been disseminated. You will have no legitimacy in three years.
Thanks nurses

Saint Paul, MN

#36 Sep 14, 2010
For increasing my cost of health care. It was just AWESOME going in for major surgery when all this was going on and listening to you complain.
Olivia

Minneapolis, MN

#37 Sep 14, 2010
No winners.
a little more informed

Minneapolis, MN

#38 Sep 15, 2010
the other jim wrote:
<quoted text>
if you're a shareholder in the companies' hospitals, i would have to wonder if you really want this set of ceo's.
if you lean to the right, they weren't anti-union enough and should have leveraged the whole company to the point of bankrupcy. if you're a more left-leaning person, the it's an unjustified expense that could have gone to not raising rates this year. if you're fiscally conservative, i'm going to lose a dividend because you spent money and still lost.
either way, the CEO's and boards are overpaid. hell, in the US in general, CEO's are overpaid compared to the rest of the world of CEO's.
Hospitals in Minnesota are non-profits. The board members are all volunteers and do a lot of work to help the hospitals run well. A dedicated bunch who are generally in it for the good of the community.

Shareholders don't exist, unless you count the millions of residents of Minnesota that the hospitals are set up to serve.

So, if you're going to make left wing anti-business comments, please at least be better informed about what you're saying.
Free Jeff Dubay

Saint Paul, MN

#39 Sep 15, 2010
the 24 million spent was only 1% of the hospitals quarterly expenses. Big Deal. For the year it was .25%.

The losers, Nurses and patients.

Nurses wanted to keep a nurse and patient ratio and claimed it was not about pay raises.

In the end the nurses scraped the nurse and patient ratio demand and took the money.

HAHAHAHA. Jokes on us.
robin

Redwood City, CA

#40 Sep 15, 2010
Why did Allina spend so much more money than the other hospitals....?
Allina RN

Andover, MN

#41 Sep 18, 2010
I cannot handle more patients and still do the high quality work that I do. I am not sure I could stand to to do a mediocre job for very long. I am constantly pulled in many directions at once at work. We cannot assess, plan and implement reassess and continue to monitor and educate ever increasing numbers of patients without the quality of our work suffering. Which would you rather have a nurse with 4 patients or one with 7? Beware TC hospitals MNA nurses have not given up on safe patient staffing ratios.
RealityCheck

Chisago City, MN

#42 Sep 19, 2010
Allina RN wrote:
I cannot handle more patients and still do the high quality work that I do. I am not sure I could stand to to do a mediocre job for very long. I am constantly pulled in many directions at once at work. We cannot assess, plan and implement reassess and continue to monitor and educate ever increasing numbers of patients without the quality of our work suffering. Which would you rather have a nurse with 4 patients or one with 7? Beware TC hospitals MNA nurses have not given up on safe patient staffing ratios.
If that is the case (MNA not giving up on safe pt. ratios), then why were they (the nurses) satisfied with settling for an increase in pay and NOTHING with safe pt. ratio?

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