News & Events

MNA Regional Council IV Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

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Board Members Present:  Patricia Comeau, Chair; Britain Thames, Secretary; Francine O’Connell, Treasurer; Margaret Derby, Liaison to MNA Board; Marie Freeman, Northeast Health Systems; Judith Gross, At-Large;  Sandra Murray, Northeast Health Systems;  Norma Ouellette, Lawrence General Hospital; Kathryn Renzi, Merrimack Valley Hospital; Maureen Travis, Wilmington School Nurses; Mary Wignall, At-Large;  Brian Zahn, Lawrence Public Health.

Board Members Absent:  Sue Lepito, Tamara Normand, Nancy Thorsen, Mark Weiner.

Other Members:  Joanne Raby

Staff:  Peggy O’Mally, Office Manager

  1. Meeting was called to order at 5:35PM.
  1. Minutes of September 3, 2009 accepted by acclimation.
  1. Tammy Normand wishes to resign her position as Secretary but continue to serve on Regional Council as Co-Chair of Gloucester Public Schools.  Resignation accepted.  Britain Thames was nominated by Patricia Comeau,  Chair, after volunteering to serve as Secretary, and was unanimously elected.
  1. Old Business: 

(A) Report on Regional Summit – Brian Zahn.

A request was made of Regional Council 4 by the MA BOD for a written decision regarding the Kennedy donation declination.  The next summit will be held on November 17, 2009. 

(B)  Report on the September 17 meeting  of the MNA BOD – Margaret has received permission to share the monthly financial report of MNA and the contents of the monthly Board packet with the Regional Council; Margaret will bring these materials to Patty Comeau, Chair.  On question about million dollar surplus, Margaret reported the BOD stating it was needed for such things as safe staffing legislation.  Question on whether members can observe the counting of mail ballots on dues:  No; MNA has hired an outside firm to count ballots.  Discussion about whether the BOD will move forward with the National Union if the dues increase proposal is voted down.  The atmosphere at the Board meeting was reported as tense and emotional around a discussion held regarding Brigham and Women’s Hospital stance against the national union.  There was a discussion about possibly drafting a letter from the Regional Council for Margaret to read at the next meeting with the MNA BOD, but it was decided that Patty would call the new President, Donna Kelly Williams, and extend an invitation to next month’s meeting to speak about the future, as well as voice our concerns about how our members feel that the MNA BOD may have lost touch with its membership. 

(C)  Follow-up on recommendations of Outreach Committee, shared at last month’s meeting, to donate to local food pantries. 

Motion #64 by Kathy Renzi , 2nd by Marie Freeman

“To donate $500 to each of the 4 food pantries:  Lynn- My Brother’s Table,Cape Ann – Cape Ann Food Pantry, Lawrence-Bread and Roses Food Pantry; Lowell organization for food.
Rationale:  Positive outreach to community.”

Motion passed. 

(D)  Annual Meeting – It was stated that the Tewksbury Country Club was nice and there was a good turnout.  It was noted that there were many questions about the budget, the super union and the mail ballot. 

  1. Treasurer’s Report: 

(A)  MNA request for $750.00 to offset expense of Awards Banquet discussed though it had been decided at the last meeting not to increase from the original budget.  Postponed until next spring’s budget deliberations. 

(B)  Written Report distributed. 

(C)  Financial requests:
Motion #65 by Kathy Renzi, 2nd by Sandra Murray
“To increase the cost of the Convention reimbursement to members who incurred more than the allotted amount.”


Motion failed. 

Patty raised possibility of Region 4 donating to MNA PAC but question raised as to whether we are legally allowed to do so since we are part of MNA and the annual amount MNA donates to the PAC is limited by law.  Peg will request information on this question for next month’s meeting.

  1. Committee Reports: 

(A)  Education Committee – Upcoming CE programs in the rescue airway and orthopedics discussed, as well as the upcoming Labor School tracks #6 and #3 being offered starting October 15, 2009. 

(B)  Newsletter Committee – Joanne Raby will continue to serve on this Committee but could use another member for the committee.  There are some considering joining the committee.

  1. New Business: 

(A)  Niki Jamieson, staff in MNA Public Communication Department, is working on web page development for each region.  We will extend an invitation for Niki to join us at next month’s meeting.  Region IV photo will be taken at next month’s meeting for submission to the web page.  Discussion about also including information on our Committees. 

(B)  Safe Staffing – The state house hearing is scheduled for November 3, 2009.  There will be a press event at Anna Jaques at 12:00 noon on November 2, 2009.  That same day at the Peabody office, there will be phone banking, using “predictive dialing” to call members and connect them to Senators. 

(C)  Fran introduced a request from a reporter of the Patriot Ledger for a statement from those unhappy with the Business Meeting vote at convention.  The request came about after a newspaper contacted nurses from Brigham and Women’s about the vote.  Discussion.  Decided Regional Council will not get involved  in speaking to news media. 

(D)  MNA Election results were handed out.  It was pointed out that Patty Sullivan has been elected to two positions:  Region 4 member on MNA Board and At-Large member of Regional Council 4.  If her position on the MNA Board assures her a seat on Regional Council, that leaves an open space on the board to which the Regional Council could appoint the candidate with the next highest number of votes.  Any further discussion and decisions were deferred to the next month’s meeting.

  1. Bargaining Unit Reports –

Lawrence Public Health – No update.
Northeast Health Systems – Just had the fifth negotiation meeting in which the hospital’s economic proposal, including no raises, no step advancement and increases in health care costs for members,  was submitted.  In addition, the management proposal includes taking away Veteran’s Day as a holiday.  Two more negotiation dates have been set between now and the next Region IV meeting.
Wilmington Public Schools – No update.
Lawrence General Hospital – No update.

Meeting adjourned 7:45 PM.

Respectfully submitted:

Britain Thames PhD, RN, Secretary