close
close

Building on Reactions to Their March, Mayo Clinic Nurses Group to Continue Unionizing Efforts – Post Bulletin

ROCHESTER – Following a well-received march Monday and a positive local poll, the Med City Nursing Alliance is motivated to move forward with the process of unionizing Mayo Clinic nurses this summer.

The MCNA, as first reported by the Post Bulletin, is a proposed independent union that could represent more than 6,000 registered nurses, certified registered nurse anesthetists and licensed practical nurses at the Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus.

Tiffany Lawler, a labor and delivery nurse at Mayo Clinic and founder of MCNA, said people were happy with their first public event and are wondering about the next steps toward a possible unionization vote.

“Of course we always want bigger numbers, but it was a good first march,” Lawler said of the silent march of about 50 nurses and supporters in downtown Rochester on Monday. “They showed their faces proudly. They made statements and interviews. I think the courage shown by the protesters was an inspiration to the rest of the nurses.

This growing support aligns with an MCNA survey of 6,000 Rochester nurses conducted in late April. Survey results showed that 53.9 percent favored unionization, 25 percent opposed unionization and 21 percent were undecided.

“I wanted people to be able to give their opinion on how they feel. I didn’t want to defend the interests of people who don’t want to be defended,” she said. “With the positive responses, we are still on the union bandwagon.”

However, there is still a long way to go before the vote on unionization can take place.

The first step is for MCNA to decide which labor organization, such as the Minnesota Nurses Association, it wants to work with in the future. The hope is to vote on the options by the end of May.

Once this decision is made, the MCNA will create the union cards that nurses can sign throughout the summer. Once they collect enough signatures, they can ask the National Labor Relations Board to hold a vote on unionization.

Lawler said this summer, people will see MCNA representatives at public events, like the farmers market and upcoming weekly Thursday street fairs downtown, handing out information and answering questions.

The MCNA will also hold regular meetings and possibly other events, such as the silent march.

Lawler believes Monday’s march was a good kickoff for the organizing process.

“I think the nurses saw that there was no negative reaction or retaliation from our employer. I think they saw that the water is safe,” she said. Now I hope everyone can participate.

Jeff Kiger

Jeff Kiger writes a daily column, “Heard Around Rochester,” in addition to writing articles on local businesses, the Mayo Clinic, IBM, Hormel Foods, Crenlo and others. The opinions of my employer do not necessarily reflect my opinions. He has worked in Rochester for the Post Bulletin since 1999. Send tips to [email protected] or via Twitter to @whereskiger . You can call him at 507-285-7798.