WYOMING, Minn. – After leading a campaign to raise awareness of potential threats to safe patient care at Fairview Lakes Medical Center, nurses at the Chisago County facility voted yesterday to ratify a new contract that makes progress for both nurses and patients.
Nurses at Fairview Lakes are represented by the Minnesota Nurses Association, which announced the election results in a press release today.
The new contract, according to the union, will move Fairview Lakes closer to staffing levels that ensure safe patient care, and it will enable the hospital to attract and retain nurses.
“Our priority is ensuring that nurses have enough time to provide the quality care our patients deserve,” Sandie Anderson, co-chair of the nurses’ bargaining unit, said. “This contract moves us toward that goal.”
Nurses had planned to stage informational picketing outside the facility yesterday to draw attention to their concerns about Fairview Lakes’ attempts to move backward on nurse staffing in negotiations. But after the two sides reached a tentative agreement July 30, nurses spent yesterday voting rather than picketing.
Fairview Lakes nurses were successful in standing together for a fair contract, unit co-chair Sue Kreitz said, because the community stood behind them.
“We achieved a good contract because members stood together,” Kreitz said. “Signs in local businesses, stickers, a giant ‘sympathy card’ for management, plans for an informational picket, and a video showing the unequal treatment of clinic nurses sent a clear message that we were going to stand up for a fair contract that benefits staff, patients and our community.”