Twin Cities nurses union alleges coll...

Twin Cities nurses union alleges collusion among hospitals

There are 84 comments on the TwinCities.com story from May 17, 2010, titled Twin Cities nurses union alleges collusion among hospitals. In it, TwinCities.com reports that:

The union representing 12,000 Twin Cities nurses filed a federal complaint Monday claiming the six hospital systems that employ them colluded on negotiating and contract offers.

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Sandy

Saint Paul, MN

#1 May 18, 2010
The hospitals wouldn't survive nor the patients without the many hard working nurses.
Adequete staffing is a critical issue.
Good luck to all the nursing staff.
Cardinal Corner

Minneapolis, MN

#2 May 18, 2010
Last time the nurses threatened to strike over the same issues. They took pay increases without resolving any other issues. This is all about thee money people. Dont buy into the " We care so much for the patients" crapola. Its all about the money !!
Staffing equals Safety

Minneapolis, MN

#3 May 18, 2010
Adequate staffing is expensive and essential to care.

Nurses not only perform technical tasks, like giving IV medications, but need the time to do things like LISTEN and EXPLAIN things to patients who are vulnerable and scared. Sure, that doesn't make anybody any money, but it is ESSENTIAL to caring for the hospitalized patient.
Really

Saint Paul, MN

#4 May 18, 2010
Hey Mr Olson are you a union member?
Dave

United States

#5 May 18, 2010
Sandy wrote:
The hospitals wouldn't survive nor the patients without the many hard working nurses.
Adequete staffing is a critical issue.
Good luck to all the nursing staff.
Everyone else has taken pay cuts, their hours cut or both, but you have union nurses complaining about their raises. Let them strike and then bring in replacements nurses. They know how to work with great care.

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Since: Feb 09

Saint Paul, MN

#6 May 18, 2010
Unions were needed in the 1930's. Now the government has established enough laws to protect the employees. I am stunned that in this economy the nurses would even think of striking. How many regular workers out there have taken pay cuts, lost jobs, or taken a pay freeze just to retain their job??? Oh, that's right, unions are not the "regular" working stiffs anymore.
Dr know

Minneapolis, MN

#7 May 18, 2010
It appears the nurses union is grasping at straws now. I'd like to know where is the evidence of collusion. If I was a nurse of which I'm not, I would re-think the idea of going on strike, everyone else is cutting back except for government of course, it is possible that the nurses union is headed right down a rathole and taking the good nurses with them. The union experiment is now on course too failure in America.
Phil

Saint Paul, MN

#8 May 18, 2010
Collusion? Isn't a union the ultimate in collusion? After all, banding together is exactly what collusion is and that is what the nurses union does. On the matter of staffing, I wonder if the nurses are so worried about patient care, would they be willing to take a 10% pay cut so we could afford to add on 10% more nursing staff?

Personally I am sick and tired of going to the doctor with an open checlkbook in hand. They never give more than an estimate up front and the final bill is always higher anyway. We need medical savings accounts so I, the consumer control the money. Then you'll see some real health care savings because I will shop around. With the present system, where is my incentive to shop as its covered by insurance anyway.

The nurses are so far removed from the reality of the marketplace it isn't even funny.
Columbia

Minneapolis, MN

#9 May 18, 2010
Phil wrote:
Collusion? Isn't a union the ultimate in collusion? After all, banding together is exactly what collusion is and that is what the nurses union does. On the matter of staffing, I wonder if the nurses are so worried about patient care, would they be willing to take a 10% pay cut so we could afford to add on 10% more nursing staff?
Personally I am sick and tired of going to the doctor with an open checlkbook in hand. They never give more than an estimate up front and the final bill is always higher anyway. We need medical savings accounts so I, the consumer control the money. Then you'll see some real health care savings because I will shop around. With the present system, where is my incentive to shop as its covered by insurance anyway.
The nurses are so far removed from the reality of the marketplace it isn't even funny.
your response is on target, it's nice to know that people still have the ability to think clearly, congratulations! We could use people of your mind set in the state capital. interested?
Phil

Saint Paul, MN

#10 May 18, 2010
Columbia wrote:
<quoted text>
your response is on target, it's nice to know that people still have the ability to think clearly, congratulations! We could use people of your mind set in the state capital. interested?
Thanks for your kind words but I am not social enough to be a politician. Plus I don't think on my feet fast enough to be in the public. Take care.
freedom of choice

Saint Paul, MN

#11 May 18, 2010
The nurses UNION is crying foul about hospitals working together? Just more evidence that unions no longer care about playing fair. Let these greedy nurses strike; I'm sure with this economy there are plenty of nurses that are unemployed or looking to pick up more hours that would be happy to step in.
toejammed

Eden Prairie, MN

#12 May 18, 2010
This situation has gotten completely out of hand. The daily stories about this "negotiation" are ridiculous! Yesterday the "it's not about the money story" today the "nurses can collaborate but it's unfair for hospitals to". What can the public think other than the nurses union is being childish and unreasonable? With the economy in state that it's in, how anyone can be less than grateful to have a job is beyond me. If the nurses are truly behind their stance of "we care" and "it's all about patient" why don't they put their money where their mouth is? Why don't they agree to a salary freeze for the next 3 years with no additional benefits. Keep the pension plan as is and use the money that would have gone for raises and benefits to increase staffing? Oh wait - if they did that, then it would be all about the patients. Yeah like that's going to happen.
Lydia P

Isanti, MN

#13 May 18, 2010
Dr know wrote:
The union experiment is now on course too failure in America.
You mean the "union experiment" that gave us the middle class? You know, the middle class that doesn't exist anymore? Corporate greed took care of that. With the decline of the unions was the decline of the middle class. The hospital mafia has much in common with Don Blackenship corrupt owner of non-union Massey Coal. He hated unions, wouldn't allow them and all their annoying "safety concerns" interfering with profits. He silenced all their concerns and warnings. Of course that ended with the disaster that killed 29 miners. If the hospitals get their way, there won't be one big attention grabbing disaster. Instead, hourly, daily, weekly, patients will be lost that could have been saved.
Saint Paul Resident

Saint Paul, MN

#14 May 18, 2010
Hospitals are like all other corporations. They are taking advantage of the tough economic times by trying to cut pension benefits and streamline staffing. Even though they're making hundreds of millions in profits! Corporate greed has done more to harm this nation than anything else. We're all so foolish to put up with it.....
WTF

Saint Paul, MN

#15 May 18, 2010
Raises with benefits at 20 hours per week....must be rough. The rest of us face layoffs, salary reduction, and benefit elimination.
Phil

Saint Paul, MN

#16 May 18, 2010
Lydia P wrote:
<quoted text>
You mean the "union experiment" that gave us the middle class? You know, the middle class that doesn't exist anymore? Corporate greed took care of that. With the decline of the unions was the decline of the middle class. The hospital mafia has much in common with Don Blackenship corrupt owner of non-union Massey Coal. He hated unions, wouldn't allow them and all their annoying "safety concerns" interfering with profits. He silenced all their concerns and warnings. Of course that ended with the disaster that killed 29 miners. If the hospitals get their way, there won't be one big attention grabbing disaster. Instead, hourly, daily, weekly, patients will be lost that could have been saved.
And the middle class can be gutted by having to pay excessive costs for medical care (ie Doctors and nurses salaries, administrative costs as well as profits to the insurance companies). I suspect that if we did not have nurses unions, the going rate for a nurse would be significantly lower than it is. The job is not exactly brain surgery.
toejammed

Eden Prairie, MN

#17 May 18, 2010
Saint Paul Resident wrote:
Hospitals are like all other corporations. They are taking advantage of the tough economic times by trying to cut pension benefits and streamline staffing. Even though they're making hundreds of millions in profits! Corporate greed has done more to harm this nation than anything else. We're all so foolish to put up with it.....
Those hundreds of millions of profits you refer to are used to keep the non profit hospital systems up and running. You know those pesky overhead costs that apply to the fairview, abbott, allina, childrens, methodist and who ever else is under attack here. Oh wait, but it also includes all of their clinics as well - oh and their urgent care centers. Hmmm - oh yes, and there's that pesky detail of technology and trying to have the best and proper equipment available and functioning correctly for either diagnostic or treatment purposes. Yes, I can see how those greedy health systems are making oodles and oodles of cash. Do you have any idea how expensive it is to purchase some of this equipment - let alone maintain it? And please don't forget about all those other jobs that hospital provides - the secretaries, the cooks, the janitors, and all those people who take care of the background stuff that the doctors and nurses take for granted. I'm all for people sharing opinions, but please educate yourselves a bit before sounding off. It just shows your ignorance.
The real - NICE

Saint Paul, MN

#18 May 18, 2010
I happen to know a nurse and this is the issue, it is not about the pay, what the hospitals are doing is changing their pensions, ones they have put into and worked for for years. And also, they want to have one nurse per 12 to 15 patients. Personally I would not want a nurse who can not keep up with the demands on taking care of that many patients. Floating nurses around to different areas could be dangerous, as a nurse who works say in pediatrics gets moved to oncology unit. They would not have the expertise to work with these patients. You only hear what you want. I know these hospitals are offering huge bonuses for nurses to cross the line and huge pay, money that could easily fulfill the demands the nurses are asking for, nothing less. These nurses care about their patients, and want what is fair, nothing more. And anyone who knows a nurse will know that they are all care takers who love their jobs and caring for people, they take all the liabilities that come with being a nurse, and most of them do it will genuine love for a fellow human being.

For those who think that the job is not brain surgury? Well, the doctors diagnosis and make orders, however it is the nurses who administer the orders and have to watch the effects and explain to the patients and so on....unless you know a nurse first hand or are one, you have no idea the demands on the nursing staff. I wish them well.
nurses are great but

Saint Paul, MN

#20 May 18, 2010
i hear all this union bashing but the unions only do what the people want. this is not the union against the hospitals! It's the nurses against the hospitals! the nurses could tell their union at any point to back off on any issue and they would have to. Obviously they are not.We all love nurses and the job they do, but times are hard in this economy and everybody is making sacrifices. it seems the nurses do not feel this way.this is only a 3 year contract, they can renegotiate in another 3 years! if its only about patient care then give back the raises, agree to pension cuts and the hospitals will have more money to agree to more staffing. There are plenty of qualified nurses to take their jobs if they go on strike, just like the northwest mechanics who went on strike and half of them were replaced!
Lydia P

Isanti, MN

#21 May 18, 2010
toejammed wrote:
<quoted text>
..how expensive it is to purchase some of this equipment - let alone maintain it? And please don't forget about all those other jobs that hospital provides - the secretaries, the cooks, the janitors...
It's not the cooks and the x-ray machine that is liable for the care you get 24/7, it's the nurses who are legally liable. I'm sure corporate goons want nurse to continue to assume more and more liability without any input on responsibility. We are doing the work of two people. A nurses assignment now is double what it was 15 years ago. People don't judge a hospital by how shiney their equipment is. They want nurses who will give them what they are paying for, quality nursing care. Anything less is bait and switch fraud.

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