Nurses At Bemidji Hospital Reject Contract Offer

BEMIDJI, Minn. (AP) — Nurses at a Bemidji hospital have rejected their employer’s latest contract offer and have authorized a strike.

The Minnesota Nurses Association represents 230 RNs at Sanford Bemidji Medical Center. The hospital says it’s open to further negotiations and will be fully operational during contract talks.

The Bemidji Pioneer reports union chairman Peter Danielson says the nurses need a commitment in writing that the hospital will improve staffing. The union says the hospital’s proposed contract is filled with concessions. Nurses and hospital management have been negotiating since April.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Redneck Purist

    Good. Let em strike. I hope they do. Then they can replace the whiner with workers.

    • Mark

      So you feel that any person should not be paid a fair wage for their labors? Should people be able to receive benefits for the good of themselves as well as their family? Should a worker be able to receive a vacation for a period of rest and enjoyment for their labors? Shouldn’t we keep children out of the labor force? Should a person after years of toil be able to retire with dignity with a pension that provides a decent standard of living?

      Or would you rather see a minimum wage law that only makes the employer pay only 1-cent a day? How about doing away with all workplace safety rules that are designed to not only protect the workers, but also consumers (especially in hospitals)? Maybe we should do away with all regulations on businesses and allow them to do whatever they choose?

      Maybe you should move to a communist nation where workers and unions do not have a voice in the workplace!

      • Responsible by Nature

        Unions are things of the past. Get over it Mark, nobody is on your side anymore, this is why Healthcare costs are skyrocketing. We are not talking about getting rid of all the business regulations why do you libs decide that it is all or nothing. Btw Communist nations are for the workers IE Unions. Educate yourself.

        • Mark

          Oh really, it’s because of unions that health costs are skyrocketing? How about try insurance companies who dictate to hospitals, doctors, clinics, what they will pay. And they are making a killing! Look at United Healthcare. First quarter profits in 2010 were up 21%, in a first quarter profit posting of $.19 Billion, which was up from profits of $984 million one-year earlier. While their CEO makes annual pay of over 100 million per year. These facts brought to you by FOX Business.

          And try living in China. A communist nation, WITH NO UNIONS representing the workers! When a company has a union, it is democracy in the workplace. We elect our leadership, and have a voice at the table. And our members have the right to have a hearing on discipline issues with representation. Kind of like our own society, if you are arrested, you have the right to representation, right?

          But without a union, the worker is on his own. And if the boss decides “You’re fired!” for whatever reason; the worker has virtually no recourse. Maybe it’s you who needs to be educated.

          • Louise Hockenson

            Go Mark !

  • Redneck Purist

    Where do you see any of these problems in non union companies? You’re living in the past. Today’s unions are irrelevant. They actually share the same slogan as communism. “workers of the world unite.” Most union organizers back in their hey day were members of the communist party you dunce. I work for a non-union company and have a pension plan, get a decent wage and have great health insurance. Unions are great for people who can’t or won’t compete for a good position with good pay and benefits. But for the rest of us they have outlived their usefulness long ago. Now they’re just a bunch of whiners who demand more than they’re worth.

    • Cliff

      I agree completely with you

    • Mark

      We all compete for better jobs, even in a union workplace. And without Unions putting higher wages and benefits out into the workplace, some tof the wages and benefits you non-union workers enjoy would not be there.

      And if unions do go away, how long do you think it would be before the gains that workers have made would be rolled back to the days prior to the union “heyday”

      Just take a look at the non-union coal mines in the eastern United States. Workers live in fear if they dare speak out on the working conditions and safety concerns.

      And I believe with my degrees, I do not qualify as a “Dunce”. My concern ifs for all in this nation to be able to enjoy a much better atndard of living than they currently enjoy.

      • me

        Besides, without a union how else is someone who puts a bumper on a car going to earn $80 an hour with a full pension after 20 years?

  • curly_racks

    Unions have a place for laborers and other private sector jobs. I agree government workers do not really need unions but nurses have very demanding jobs. They often work with high patient ratios and need to operate without error. Blaming nurses or doctors for that matter for exploding healthcare costs shows how stupid you are. How about obscene profits at insurance companies. Look at United Healthcare. I am a Libertarian but I recognize that a single payor system would be the best solution for reducing health care costs. The only other option would be to legally limit the amount of profit that can be made by health insurers to cover reasonable salaries and any excess should go to reducing the premiums paid.

    It is a difficult issue but supporting the system that makes healthcare unaffordable and leaves millions without access takes away from the liberty of many in this nation.

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