MNA plans informational picket outside of Sanford Bemidji

Sanford Bemidji has responded to the claims the Minnesota Nurses Association is making as they prepare an informational picket this upcoming Tuesday.

According to Vice President of Nursing Joy Johnson, there have not been any hospitalized patients of COVID-19 so far at Sanford Bemidji.

The Minnesota Nurses Association, in their release, says off-duty nurses will rally Tuesday to protest retaliation against workers who tried to protect themselves from the COVID-19 virus.

According to the MNA, one RN has been placed on administrative leave for attempting to arrange alternative housing for quarantining healthcare workers.

Johnson at Sanford says nights at hotel rooms for workers would generally be at the workers’ expense, as they typically do not pay for employee housing.

Johnson also said that Sanford is following the CDC guidelines for PPE. To date, there have been 1,130 COVID tests administered at Sanford Bemidji, with ten positives.

Sanford Bemidji has not furloughed or laid off any of their staff, and have instead “upskilled” them, Johnson says, reassigning staff to other duties.

There have been some instances of reduced hours among hourly employees, but Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota CEO and President Susan Jarvis in a presentation earlier this month said that about 20-30 employees have been affected each pay period.

The MNA says the picket, this Tuesday from 4 to 6 p.m. outside Sanford Bemidji, is informational and it is not a strike or work stoppage, and only off-duty nurses will attend.

Further comment from the MNA was not available by press time.

Sanford Health is a sponsor of Bemidji Now news.

 

 


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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