MANKATO — The Nurses Association of Minnesota may soon see a decline in membership at a Mayo Clinic health system located in Mankato.
A group of nurses from the Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato filed a petition calling for the end of the union on the grounds that union officials hold monopoly bargaining power over nurses. The petition itself was filed by Brittany Burgess, a nurse who works at the Mayo Clinic health care facility.
Burgess declined to comment for this story.
Kylie Thomas, communications associate for the National Right to Work, explained what prompted these nurses to file this union dismissal petition.
“The demand seeks to end the monopolistic bargaining powers of MNA union officials at the Mayo Clinic. These nurses clearly believe they would be better off without the union,” Thomas said. “It should be noted that different workers in the same workplace may come to the conclusion that they want to be released from the union for other reasons.
A minimum of 30% of health system employees in Mankato are required for the vote to withdraw from the MNA. Burgess was able to rally around 200 of his colleagues to participate in the voting process, which eclipses the 30% minimum threshold for a vote to take place.
Burgess and his colleagues are receiving assistance from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. The role of the foundation is to help the group of nurses exercise their right to vote without hindrance from the union they currently belong to.
Patrick Semmens, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation, explained how the foundation is currently helping these nurses.
“It should be a straightforward process to get the decertification vote. Unfortunately, how the National Labor Relations Board also enforces the various internal policies of the NRLB can often be a bit convoluted,” Semmens said.
Currently, nurses at the Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato are awaiting dates from the National Labor Relations Board for when they can officially vote on decertifying the Minnesota Nurses Association.
Semmens explained how the process could unfold after the NLRB has reviewed and scheduled voting dates. “The way it works is when a petition is filed, the different parties are notified, and then they stipulate an election. Once that happens, nurses will have a time frame to plan for nurse voting in the workplace.
Tammie Fromm, an operating room nurse at Mayo Clinic Mankato and a member of the MNA bargaining team, spoke about the issues from the perspective of the Nurses Association of Minnesota: “The more than 950 MNA nurses from clinics Mayo form the union. Together, we successfully negotiated for better contracts, organized for adequate PPE in the early days of the pandemic, and demanded adequate staffing levels to keep nurses at the bedside. We will continue to organize together to retain nurses and protect patient care in our communities,” Fromm said.
The Mayo Clinic provided a statement to the Post Bulletin on this matter saying, “The Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato has learned that more than 200 nurses have signed a petition calling for a vote on the termination of the Minnesota Nurses Association union. (MNA). This is a staff-led effort. We are grateful for the trust the petitioners place in the Mayo Clinic health care system. »
Currently, Mayo Clinic Health System nurses in Mankato are the only ones within Mayo Clinic who want to withdraw their certification from the MNA union.