Nurses file petition with Mayo to fix staffing crisis

Published 6:46 pm Friday, January 21, 2022

Over 600 nurses in Mayo Clinic facilities across southeast Minnesota have filed a petition with hospital management demanding an answer to the staffing crisis brought on by the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest surge, driven by the omicron variant, has not only pushed hospital resources to the brink, but staffing as well. In a press release earlier in the week from the Minnesota Nurses Association, 672 nurses in the MNA from facilities in Austin, Albert Lea, Fairmount, Lake City, Mankato and Red Wing signed the petition demanding Mayo act.

“Nurses continue to work under extremely difficult circumstances to care for our patients while Mayo CEOs make millions off our hard work,” said Kelly Rosevold, RN at Mayo Clinic Health System – Mankato. “As nurses continue to face down a pandemic, a work environment that feels unsafe, and unresponsive management, these demands will help to sustain nurses who are providing quality patient care at the bedside.”

The demand included two specific areas:

• Wage Fairness: To ensure fair wages are paid to both local and travel nurses, Mayo MNA nurses are asking to be paid triple time for all hours worked while travel nurses are being utilized.

• Retention Bonuses: To honor the sacrifice of nurses who continue to work through the current hospital crisis, Mayo MNA nurses are calling for a $4,000 bonus to be paid for every three months that nurses remain on the job.

Mayo Clinic released a statement on Wednesday in reaction to the demands.

“Mayo Clinic values its nursing staff and offers a highly competitive compensation package,” The statement read. “Like other hospitals, our medical surgical units and ICUs at Mayo Clinic hospitals continue to be full and staffing challenges continue to persist, exacerbated with higher volumes of staff absences due to the high rates of COVID-19 transmission across our communities. We are working diligently to assist with the staffing issues, including offering premium pay and financial incentives, utilizing agency nurses, redeploying staff from outpatient areas to alleviate inpatient constraints, and in some cases, evaluating surgical listings and adjusting schedules as needed for patients whose health or quality of life will not be adversely affected by waiting.”

The current surge, which some have predicted could peak relatively soon in Minnesota, has taken a terrible toll on hospitals, with many nurses quitting their jobs in a quickening rate brought on by conditions at the hospitals.

The MNA release claims that these conditions have been driven by CEOs putting profits before patient care.