Minnesota Hospital Association on Nurses bill

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(ABC 6 News) – At the Minnesota capitol, a conference committee is proposing that Mayo Clinic be exempt from part of the ‘Keeping Nurses at the Bedside’ Act.

It’s not a done deal yet, the bill is still in a conference committee. But if the newly amended version of this bill is passed by the House and Senate, all Mayo Clinic locations statewide would be excluded from specific staffing requirements.

The bills main focus is creating staffing committees which would determine safe staffing levels for hospitals and individual units.

RELATED: Mayo Clinic exempt from staffing provisions, lawmakers amend ‘Keeping Nurses at the Beside Act’

Minnesota Hospital Association President and CEO Dr. Rahul Korane joined us to talk about this developing story.

On those committees would be hospital management, nurses and other bedside staff.

It also includes sections on tackling workplace violence, loan forgiveness programs and additional protections for nurses in the state.

But a newly introduced amendment would exempt Mayo from being subjected to those staffing committees.

Minnesota Nurses Association President Mary Turner says she’s disappointed in the governor and Mayo.

“Someday, all of us and our loved ones will need care in a hospital. When that day comes, people need to know there are enough skilled nurses at the bedside to provide the safe, high-quality care all patients deserve. The Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act is a historic step forward that will give nurses a seat at the table and a voice in the process to improve staffing levels, bring nurses back to the bedside, and protect patient care throughout the state.

“Our hearts break for the nurses at Mayo Clinic Health System who will be denied a voice in the process of safe staffing by their own corporate executives. It is disheartening and disappointing that Mayo executives chose to issue an anti-democratic ultimatum and walk away from the better patient care conditions and nurse retention this bill will offer at more than ninety percent of Minnesota hospitals. To the nurses and patients at Mayo, please know: the brave nurses of MNA fought for you, while Mayo executives fought to silence, sideline, and subvert your voice, your concerns, and your wellbeing.

“Nurses denounce Governor Tim Walz for his abdication of good government and acquiescence to anti-democratic and anti-labor corporate bullies. By allowing corporate executives to dictate our public policy behind closed doors, Governor Walz has made clear to Minnesotans that their democratic process does not work for them, but for the wealthy and powerful few. One year ago, Governor Walz stood with nurses on the strike line and promised no piece of anti-labor law would ever make it past his desk. By siding with the profits and power of corporate executives over the rights and needs of patients and workers, Governor Walz has made clear he will only side with labor when corporate interests concede.

“Nurses are incredibly thankful for the strong stance of the vast majority of Minnesota legislators who opposed the extortion tactics of a multi-billion-dollar healthcare corporation, including the lead authors of this bill, Senator Erin Murphy and Representative Sandra Feist, who continue to fight hard for safe staffing and quality patient care for all Minnesotans. With the strong support of Minnesota patients and a bipartisan, pro-nurse majority in the Minnesota legislature, it is time to take bold action to hold hospital executives accountable and give nurses a voice to help improve staffing levels, bring nurses back to the bedside, and protect patient care.”

Minnesota Nurses Association President Mary Turner