MNA nurses at Sanford Bemidji announce intent to picket

Nurses at Sanford Bemidji Medical Center have announced their intent to picket on Monday, March 13 as negotiations continue over a new three-year contract.

These nurses with the Minnesota Nurses Association say they are seeking a fair contract to help retain nurses to protect patient care at the hospital. Among the demands is language to ensure protections and agreements remain in place in case of a merger, like what’s currently being sought between Sanford and M Health Fairview in the Twin Cities.

“Nurses are seeking a fair contract so we can continue to do the jobs we love, providing exceptional care to our patients,” said Jessica Mistic, RN, MNA Chair at Sanford Bemidji Medical Center. “If Sanford executives cannot agree to a fair contract to retain nurses, we are ready to fight to protect care for our patients and our community.”

In negotiations with Sanford Health, MNA says executives have demanded concessions including changes to paid time off for nurses. Nurses and hospital executives also remain separated on pay increases, which MNA says will help to retain nurses in the community.

Sanford Bemidji nurses are also seeking to secure successor language in their new contract, which would guarantee recognition of their union and their contract in the case of any merger, acquisition, or other change of ownership over the facility.

This informational picket is not a work stoppage; nurses will not be walking off the job to participate in the picket and hospital operations will not be affected by the action.