For Immediate Release
Charles Idelson, 510-273-2246
Nurses Thank Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Support for Striking Minnesota RNs
Sanders: ‘I Commend Your Principled Stance’
National Nurses United today enthusiastically welcomed Sen. Bernie Sanders’ strong support for the 4,000 members of the Minnesota Nurses Association/NNU who are on strike against four Allina Health hospitals in Minnesota.
In a letter released today, Sen. Sanders expressed “my strong voice of support and offer my encouragement to the Minnesota Nurses Association and National Nurses United in your fight for proper staffing, nurse and patient safety, and health care access for yourselves and your families.”
Allina RNs are now in the second week of a strike to protest the big hospital chain’s demand for substantial reductions in the nurses’ health coverage, and refusal to address the RNs’ concerns over safe patient care staffing in its hospitals or workplace violence prevention.
“You and your colleagues around the country have a long history of standing up for safe staffing,” Sen. Sanders noted. “As you advocate for a fair contract, we are reminded that your struggles are the same struggles the American people face. I commend you all on your principled stance and your sacrifice. Remember that your fight is the fight of all working people, and in it you can count on my continued solidarity.”
“We are honored to have the support of a champion of nurses and workers like Bernie Sanders,” said MNA First Vice President Bernadine Engeldorf, RN. “His unqualified commitment to us in our effort to protect Allina Health patients and our own health is a reminder why he is held in such high esteem by nurses and by Minnesotans throughout the state – as was reflected in his huge victory in the Minnesota caucuses this spring.”
“This strong statement is a reminder why Bernie is loved by nurses across the U.S.” said NNU Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro. “Nurses everywhere are appalled by Allina’s disrespect for the nurses who its patients count on for care when they are sick, injured and vulnerable.”
“It is unconscionable that Allina wants to cut the nurses’ own health coverage, and refused to address the nurses’ concern for safe staffing and workplace violence prevention in its hospitals,” DeMoro said. “It’s time for Allina to stop putting their profits over patient safety.”
(Full letter posted at http://bit.ly/2cVrdQw)
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National Nurses United, with close to 185,000 members in every state, is the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in US history.