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Nurses at Mayo Clinic in Mankato vote to break away from Minnesota Nurses Association

After 70-plus years of being unionized, nurses at the Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato voted to break away from the Minnesota Nurses Association Union on Monday with a 213-181 vote tally.

Mayo Clients.JPG
Brittany Burgess (Center/Front) with several of her coworkers who are petitioning for union desertification outside the Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato, Minnesota on June 30, 2022. <br/>
Contributed / Brittany Burgess
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MANKATO — Nearly 400 nurses at the Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato voted to withdraw themselves from the Minnesota Nurses Association Monday.

The results of the vote came in Monday night as the nurses voted 213-181 in favor of decertifying the Mayo Clinic Health System-Mankato nursing staff from MNA. The results of the vote will not be officially confirmed by the National Labor Relations Board for another week as is standard procedure for these votes.

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The decertification vote has made the Mankato campus the first Mayo Clinic location in the state of Minnesota to break away from the MNA.

The vote to decertify the Mayo Clinic Mankato nurses from MNA was led by Brittany Burgess, who has worked at the clinic for several years. Burges filed the petition for the vote to decertify with the assistance of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.

Burgess did not respond to requests for comment by the Post Bulletin.


Kylie Thomas, a spokeswoman for NRW, shared a statement from NRW President Mark Mix on the results of the vote.

“We are proud to have helped Mayo Clinic nurses exercise their right to free themselves of an unwanted union. MNA union bosses should respect the result of the nurses’ vote and its clear rejection of their so-called representation,” said Mix.

NRW is a conservative non-profit whose main mission is, “to eliminate coercive union power and compulsory unionism abuses through strategic litigation, public information, and education programs.”

NRW has also helped health care workers who work at the four Cuyuna Regional Medical Center locations around the Brainerd Lakes area remove their union affiliation with the Service Employees International Union.

Tammie Fromm, an operating room nurse at Mayo Clinic-Mankato and negotiating team member for MNA on this topic, shared a statement on the results of the vote.

“Despite our efforts, local nurses faced a highly powered, well-funded outside national organization bent on undermining worker power and collective bargaining rights. The removal of the union marks another sad step in the corporatization of community health care in Southern Minnesota, following moves by Mayo Clinic to close and consolidate services in other communities while their CEO makes millions.”

Burgess, is the step-daughter of Minnesota billionaire and soon to be former owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Glen Taylor. Burgess' mother, Becky Taylor, married Glen Taylor in 2007.

According to a report by Minnesota Reformer , Burgess hosted fellow nurses from her workplace at her step-father's mansion in Mankato prior to the decertification vote. Glen Taylor has publicly gone on the record in years prior saying he would not want his own employees to be in unions , including those with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minneapolis Star Tribune.


Fromm also commented on the role outside anti-union influence had on this vote saying, “As outside anti-worker forces set their sights on other health care workers in our state, it is more important than ever that nurses stand together with other workers, patients, and our community to hold corporate power accountable to local interests.”

Mayo Clinic Health System has around 1,000 employees, not all of whom are nurses, at its Mankato location. The decertification vote needed a minimum of 30% to participate in order to move forward with approval from the National Labor Relations Board. That benchmark was surpassed in June when 200 nurses signed the petition for the vote.

A spokeswoman for Mayo Clinic provided a statement on the results of the vote, saying, “This is a staff-led effort, and we are grateful for the confidence our nursing staff has in Mayo Clinic Health System. We look forward to working with them directly.”

The spokeswoman for Mayo declined to comment if any other union discussions are currently ongoing at any other of their health care locations. The Mankato hospital campus has been a part of the Mayo Clinic System since 1996. Nurses at the Mankato hospital had been unionized for decades prior to being acquired by Mayo Clinic, dating back to the late 1940s.

The next step after the vote for all parties to wait seven days for any objections to the election to be filed. If any party files an objection to overturn the results, a recasting of ballots will be held. If there are not any objections filed, the National Labor Review Board will begin the certification process.

Theodore Tollefson is a business reporter for the Post Bulletin. He is originally from Burnsville, Minn., and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a bachelor's degree in journalism in December 2020. Readers can reach Theodore at 507-281-7420 or ttollefson@postbulletin.com.
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