The tentative agreement between some Twin Cities hospitals and nurses will have little trouble when it goes to the rank-and-file for a vote next week, if some of the responses we've been getting from nurses is any indication. Here are a few:
"The adults showed up, both comprimised, we can finally move on."
Marie T of St. Paul:
"First of all, the union was willing to let the current contract float as is for another year in view of the lousy economy. TCH wanted to take it apart and mess with the pension for one, and then everything went down hill from there! Now it seems that we have arrived at an "agreement" which is exactly what we already had! What irks me is the amount of anxiety and angst among all of those involved, not to mention resources wasted when it might all have been avoided in the first place!
"Our unit has been very busy lately, and I am very tired of working through the morning and not getting a break until 1:30- 2:00 in the afternoon, especially if I'm working a 12 hour shift. I will be less tolerant of this tight staffing in the name of the budget, and will be more vocal about getting relief. My work is physically and mentally demanding, and breaks make all the difference."
"I trust my negotiating team implicitly. If my negotiating Team of RNs says ratify, I will ratify. They are good, smart, solid and reliable RNS with whom I work and have known for years. I am grateful for their service, commitment and skills. Their job is one I have shared, and there is not enough money in the world to reimburse them for their dedication and relentless pursuit of what is a fair and equitable settlement for the Childrens' RNs.Tracy Stewart of Burnsville:
"It is a better deal than we have been offered before and it is not moving backward. We would be losing 20 years of progress in all our previous offers and this offer at least keeps us in place. Not moving forward, but not losing ground either.
"I would still like to have nurses more involved in staffing decisions and the ability to staff for admissions.
"It will be difficult to work with those who were so vocal about crossing the picket line and not supporting the union, but yet have been fully willing to use the union to their benefit in the past."
Carolyn Dolan Bong of Minneapolis:
"Still waiting for task force details- Have always appreciated the strength of the ability to close a unit if unable to staff safely. Thanks for such fair and quick reporting-It's been an honor to refer people to MPR's site over these weeks."Molly Ley of St. Paul:
"I am both excited and nervous about the agreement. I am beyond excited to not have to go out on strike again. I cried with all my patients the evening before the one day strike and have been worried sick about having to do it again. I am very happy that my benefits and pension are left intact, something that was agreed upon in past contracts to recruit and retain nurses into long careers in the hospitals. I am nervous about the staffing piece as there is not an immediate change. However, I am looking forward to being involved in the renewed commitment the hospitals have agreed to engage in related to staffing. I have not seen the official proposal, but imagine it will acceptable to vote to ratify the contract.
" I was ready to walk out on strike to push for safe staffing, but now am looking forward to heading back to work tomorrow with the renewed commitment the hospital has promised me."
My wife is an RN in one of the metro hospitals. She is getting a lot of other nurse's saying that they will NOT vote for this contract because it doesn't cut the ratio.
She thinks those nurse's are crazy!