Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato spars with union over open bargaining

The negotiating process has become an obstacle to a contract agreement between Mayo Clinic Health System and the union representing 560 nurses its facility in Mankato, Minn., according to The Free Press.

The local Minnesota Nurses Association wants open bargaining, meaning all its members are allowed to attend each bargaining session, while hospital management argues that only the union's elected negotiating team should be allowed to sit in, according to the report.

Laura Evenson, RN, CNO for Mayo's southwest Minnesota region, told The Free Press the union's demand for open bargaining is standing in the way of productive negotiations and that authorizing all 560 nurses to be part of the bargaining team is "impractical and unproductive." 

Union spokesperson Rick Fuentes told Becker's Hospital Review open bargaining "allows members to participate in the process," through note-taking and other means, and "ensures transparency in the process for both sides — the workers' elected representatives as well as the employer's designated management team."

According to the union, open bargaining has been used at other hospital companies where the union has members, including Allina Health, HealthPartners, North Memorial, Children's of Minnesota, Fairview, HealthEast and St. Luke's in Duluth.

The contract for Mayo nurses in Mankato expired in September. Both sides have reportedly accused each other of declining to negotiate. According to Mayo, negotiating sessions have been scheduled five times but have not taken place because the union was bringing large groups of nurses to the sessions. Both sides have only exchanged initial proposals.

To read the full report, click here

 

More articles on human resources:
New U of Chicago Medical Center contract includes pay bump, better nurse staffing
University of California nurses rally at 2 hospitals to raise awareness about workplace violence
RNs at Dignity Health California hospital to picket over staffing 

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