Concerned that they do not have enough say in staffing levels, about 300 union-represented nurses gathered for an informational picket Tuesday outside Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato.
The union is negotiating a contract with officials at the medical facility to replace the one that expires Sept. 30.
Union nurses say they're concerned nurse staffing levels do not adequately meet the needs of patients. Nurses want Mayo Clinic officials to increase staffing levels based on requests from nurses.
"We want nurses at the bedside to make staffing decisions and not having corporate health care," Chad Weiler, a co-chair of the Minnesota Nurses Association and on the negotiating team in Mankato. "We want to be able to advocate for our patients from a shift-to-shift basis to meet the needs of the patients and to be able to do that from the bedside."
Nurse staffing levels at Mayo are based on the individual needs of the patients, not on mandated nurse-to-patient ratios, said Ryannon Frederick, chief nursing officer for Mayo Clinic Health System in southwest Minnesota.
"The patient status is dynamic, it can change very quickly. And we need to be flexible to be able to adapt to that," Frederick said. "I believe we are flexible with where we are with our staffing, we look at our trends, we look at our patterns based on patient acuity, and we are flexible with that."
Approximately 450 union-represented nurses work at Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato. Negotiations started in June to replace a contract that expires Sept. 30.