Letter: Flier’s Attack on Dean Phillips as ‘Heartless’ Is False

To the editor:

Erik Paulsen attacks again, falsely, might I add.

Recently I received a flier telling me that Dean Phillips is “heartless” because when he was “in charge,” 12,000 nurses went on strike when their health insurance was threatened.

That is false. Here are the actual facts:

The ad is a reference to Phillips’ time on the board of Allina Health, a not-for-profit system with hospitals and clinics in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. He served in a volunteer capacity from 2005 to 2011 and chaired the board from 2009 to 2011.

In June 2010, Twin Cities union nurses staged a one-day strike against several health systems, including Allina.

But health benefits weren’t on the chopping block that year. The main issue raised at the time by the Minnesota Nurses Association was staffing levels in hospital wards.

”At no time during 2010 Minnesota Nurses Association negotiations did Allina Health propose cutting health care,” read a statement from Allina to KARE. “At no time in 2010 did Minnesota Nurses sit down at the negotiating table with Dean Phillips to discuss any part of their contract,” read a statement from the MNA.

Health care benefits for nurses was the key issue in a much longer strike in 2016, five years after Phillips left the board.

Kerry Anderson

Click here to read the original posting in MinnPost (10/17/18).


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