Reader's View: Stop the attacks targeting Duluth nurses
As residents and patients, we are concerned about the way St. Luke’s administration is treating MNA nurse leaders.
Around 2,500 nurses with the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) in Duluth are bargaining for new contracts right now. They are asking for solutions to the problems of short staffing and retention in our hospitals so nurses can stay at the bedside and provide the exceptional care on which we all rely.
But hospital executives haven’t seemed interested in talking about these problems with nurses, and some have now resorted to attacks on these frontline health care workers simply for speaking out for better patient care. As residents and patients, we are concerned about the way St. Luke’s administration is treating MNA nurse leaders. Instead of taking these nurses up on their desire to talk through and solve problems in our hospitals, they’ve launched high-profile attacks against nurses that could do serious damage to the reputations of hospitals in our community.
As fellow union workers in the Duluth area, we are extremely disappointed to see St. Luke’s administration apparently attempting to pit nurses against other workers, like us, in paid advertising. We are all facing short-staffing and retention issues that need to be addressed. A race to the bottom helps no one. Strong union contracts protect a higher standard of living for all workers, union or not, and we stand behind all workers bargaining together for fair compensation and to solve workplace problems. The money and time St. Luke’s administration has wasted on high-profile attacks against nurses would have been better spent reaching solutions to protect nurses at the bedside and patients.
Duluth nurses, like all health care and essential workers, have worked through a global pandemic to continue to serve our community. In the unprecedented times of the pandemic, we relied on the quality care given by Duluth nurses. We stand proudly with Duluth MNA nurses.
Adam Casillas, Ethan Fisher, and Wendy Wohlwend
Casillas is president of IAFF Local 101. Fisher is president of the Duluth Federation of Teachers, and Wendy Wohlwend is president of AFSCME Local 66.
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