Archive for June, 2010

CSA #8

This week’s box from Harmony Valley Farm was quite bountiful.  Below is the list of some of the great veggies we got this week!

Green Top Beets: Beets and fennel complement each other well.  Make a beet, fennel salad with orange vinaigrette.
Sweetheart Cabbage: See veggie feature on back of newsletter
Green Top Carrots: Don’t throw away the tops!  They are high in vitamin K which the carrot itself is lacking.  Keep checking out the newsletter over the next few weeks for ideas to use carrot tops.  Carrot Top Pesto: Use a basic pesto recipe and substitute carrot tops for ½ of the basil.
Red Boston Lettuce or Green Leaf Lettuce or Romaine Lettuce:Blue cheese, avocado, sunflower seeds, and lettuce with red wine vinaigrette….yummmm!
Sugar Snap Peas or Snow Peas: Keep raw and make a simple vegetable salad with scallions, shaved fennel, carrot rounds, amaranth, and lemon vinaigrette.  Both are completely edible, pods & all.  Snow peas are flat, Sugar Snap are rounded.
Purple or White Scallions: Make a purple scallion cream cheese.  It would be great on any sandwich, wrap, or bagel.  Just chop scallions thinly and stir into room temperature cream cheese.
Fresh Garlic: Having fresh garlic for the first time, I wish that we could have it all year long.  It is milder, juicier and sweeter than dried garlic.  Separate the stalk from the bulb.  Add the stalk to soups or broths to add flavor.  Be sure to peel the cloves as the papery skin is starting to form around them.  Slice and quickly sauté.
Fennel: The whole plant is edible.  Cut the fronds from the bulb and stalks.  They should be used first.  Garnish any dish, chop and add to dips or spreads, or add at the last minute to a stir fry.  The stalks are tender now, but will become fibrous as the vegetable grows.  Fennel can be eaten raw, braised, sautéed or made into a soup.
Amaranth Greens: See Vegetable Feature on back of newsletter
Summer Squash: Slice and enjoy raw with dip as part
of a veggie platter, or lightly sauté and serve with pasta. Store in the crisper drawer.

Baby Cross is 20 weeks old! She is doing healthy and we are excited for the mid-November birth of our first child!!

Introducing Baby Cross

Last night the Minnesota Nurses Association authorized an indefinite strike at 14 metro area hospitals.  We’ve not been excited about this prospect and feel that both sides have been more focused on control and power than actual negotiations.  It seems odd that anyone would relish the idea of a strike, but many floor nurses have been excited. The union says that 84% of members approved the strike action, but hasn’t actually released the number of nurses who voted.  In May 3/4 or approximately 8,000 of the 12,000+ nurses voted, with 90% approving the one day strike.

The MNA has finally posted a side-by-side comparison of the negotiating points as of June 15.  Nothing has changed since then, except the vote to authorize a strike and the fact the MNA rejected the hospital’s condition of no strike until after July 31 to restart negotiations.

Below is the comparison of the MNA and Fairview’s negotiating points (assuming the MNA isn’t distorting the hospitals).  A list of the hospital’s proposal’s can be found here.

MNA Proprosal, as posted on June 22 Fairview Proposal
MNA’s Current Proposal
1. Staffing Ratios ? Acuity: MNA negotiating teams have asked hospitals to address “Staffing” issues. The proposal that was made on Staffing and Acuity was supposed to be a starting place not the place where we ended up.
2. Educational Development: MNA proposes that all education is scheduled quarterly in 4 or 8 hour blocks, this does not cost the employer anything.
3. Emergency Preparedness for Disaster and Catastrophic Events: This is to prepare for the
future, there is no cost to this proposal.
4. Infectious Diseases: This is a proposal to prepare for the future, proper equipment and
preparation for future outbreaks like H1N1
5. Low Need Days and Layoff: MNA proposes seniority should be honored fully and completely in any layoff
6. Technology: MNA proposes that technology does not replace clinical judgment.
7. Successors and Assigns: This proposal ensures that the contract reached between the two
parties is a condition of sale in the event of a sale, merger, joint venture, consolidation and
8. Bargaining Unit Protection/Kentucky River: Charge nurses have always been a part of our union and this proposal ensures us that the employer cannot challenge their standing within it.
9. Bargaining Unit Protection: MNA proposes the employer will not require a nurse to choose between her or his contract and their clinical specialty.
10. Incorporation of Interim Agreements: MNA proposes all understandings reached between the two parties are consistent with the contract.
11. Neutrality: Organizing and Election Procedures. MNA proposal provides a mechanism where “not yet union” Registered Nurses may form a union without interference or coercion from their employer
12. Wages: The union has modified our proposal but we are confident that wages are not the sticking point.
13.Insurance Benefits: We have proposed 95% employer paid health insurance.
What MNA Has Dropped: Our Negotiating Team Moved for the Purposes of Bargaining:
Modified Staffing Proposal
Reduced Wage Proposal for each year but we are confident that wages are not the sticking point.
Modified the Health Insurance Proposal
Fairview Southdale Hospital and University of Minnesota Medical Center – Riverside Campus Hospitals Proposal May 13, 2010 Note: Items crossed out represented proposals the Fairview bargaining has dropped during negotiations. They are not part of our current offer. 1

1. Section 4 L – Straight Night Time-Off Bonus:

Replace Section 4 L with the following so as to eliminate the time-off option for straight night time-off bonus:
In addition to the above, a full-time nurse working a permanent night shift for at least six (6) months shall receive an additional twenty (20) hours of regular pay at the end of each six (6) month period. Part-time nurses working a permanent night shift for at least six (6) months shall receive a bonus payment that is prorated from the above number of hours. This provision also applies to nurses working permanent night alternative weekend schedules.
2. Section 9 B – Vacation Conversion to Pay:

Delete this section.
3. Section 10 E Sick Leave Payout on Retirement:

Delete this section.

7. Section 14 D – Mandatory Low-Need Days:

Replace the language in Section 14 D so that mandatory low need days will be rotated among all regularly scheduled nursing staff on a calendar year basis, and the low need notice will be two hours for all shifts (including holidays) as follows:
D. Mandatory Low-Need Days:
If additional reductions are indicated, low-need days shall be taken by the least senior regularly-scheduled nurse scheduled for the particular unit and shift where the reduction is necessary. The work shift of a nurse will not be involuntarily cancelled after the start of the shift.
No regularly scheduled nurse shall be required by the Hospital to take more than six (6) low need days per calendar year (48 hours). Starting first with the least senior nurse on the seniority list who is scheduled to work on the unit and shift where the low need will take place, that nurse will be advised he/she is not needed for that shift or a portion thereof. On the next occasion where a reduction is needed, the Hospital will advise the next least senior nurse scheduled on the unit and shift in question and he/she will be advised he/she is not needed. This practice will continue through the seniority list with the intent that all nurses share as equally as possible in low need days.
A nurse to be assigned a low-need day pursuant to this Part D shall be given a minimum of two (2) hours advance notice before the beginning of any shift which is being cancelled.
Casual part-time or temporary nurses shall not be assigned to work on units for which the nurse receiving low-need days is oriented or otherwise qualified. Nurses having hours reduced shall be given first opportunity for subsequent additional work hours that may become available to replace work hours lost.

13. Section 6 B – Part-Time Holidays

Modify the third paragraph of Section 6 B as indicated below and delete the fourth paragraph of Section 6 B and to ensure there is adequate staffing on holidays:
Section 6 B Part-Time Holidays:
A nurse who has an authorized hours appointment of 64-79 hours and either twenty-five (25) calendar years of service or 35,000 hours of seniority will not be required to work holidays provided it does not have the effect of depriving patients of needed nursing services.

17. Section 22 C – Unit Grid Reviews

Delete the last paragraph in Section 22 C.


19. Sections 6 C, 6 C 3, 29 A 2, 29 D and 29 F:

Modify these Sections as indicated below so that effective January 1, 2011 benefit eligibility is determined by being authorized to work forty (40) hours or more per two week payroll period.
Section 6 C – Part-Time Increments, Vacation and Sick and 6 C 3 Part-time Sick Leave:
Replace the first sentence of Section 6 C with the sentence below and delete the first sentence in Section 6 C 3:
Effective January 1, 2011, nurses authorized forty (40) hours or more per two (2) week payroll period shall be eligible for the benefits below:
Section 29 A 2 – Health and Hospitalization Insurance:
Replace the first sentence of Section 29 A 2 with the following:
Effective January 1, 2011, nurses authorized forty (40) hours or more per two (2) week payroll period shall be eligible for the same hospitalization insurance benefits as full-time nurses.
Sec. 29 D – Life Insurance:
Replace the first sentence of Section 29 D with the following:
Effective January 1, 2011, the Hospital shall provide and pay the full cost of a group term life insurance program for full-time nurses and regular part-time nurses authorized forty (40) hours or more per two (2) week payroll period.
Sec. 29 F – Dental Insurance:
Replace the first sentence of Section 29 A 2 with the following:
Effective January 1, 2011, the Hospital shall provide and pay the full cost of a group term dental insurance program for full-time nurses and regular part-time nurses authorized forty (40) hours or more per two (2) week payroll period.

20. Section 29 A – Health and Hospitalization Insurance

Replace the first paragraph of Section 29 A with the following and update any other areas of the contract as needed so as to transition all nurses to the non-contract MedChoice health insurance plan:
Effective January 1, 2011, nurses authorized to work forty (40) hours per two (2) week payroll period or more shall be eligible to participate in the same health insurance plan as the non-contract employees as the plan may exist and may be amended from time to time.
21. Section 29 A 2, 29 A 4 and 29 A 5 d – Health Insurance:

Delete the last sentence in Section 29 A 2 and delete Sections 29 A 4 and 29 A 5 d in their entirety..

23. Section 29 C – Long-Term Disability

For clarification purposes only, replace the first sentence of the first paragraph of Section 29 C with the following:
The Hospital shall provide and pay the full cost of a long–term disability insurance program for full-time nurses and part-time nurses authorized forty eight (48) hours or more per two (2) week payroll period.


27. Section 4 B – Longevity Bonus:

Delete Section 4 B.
30. Appendix C – Recognized Certification Programs

Update the list of certifications as needed.

Fairview Southdale Hospital and University of Minnesota Medical Center – Riverside Campus adopts the pension proposal as proposed by the Hospitals in a letter to Mr. James Bialke dated May 3, 2010 – see attached.
First year – No across-the-board increase. Step increases to continue.
Second year – Effective with the pay period commencing closest to June 1, 2011, there shall be a one percent (1%) across-the-board increase to the basic minimum salaries indicated in the Staff Nurse Salary Charts. Step increases to continue.
Third year – Effective with the pay period commencing closest to June 1, 2012, there shall be a two percent (2%) across-the-board increase to the basic minimum salaries indicated in the Staff Nurse Salary Charts. Step increases to continue.
Duration and Renewal
Except as set forth above, the new contract shall be effective from June 1, 2010 or the date this contract proposal is ratified by the Union, whichever is later, and shall run through May 31, 2013.

CCRN Certification for Adult, Pediatric and Neonatal Critical Care Nurses (was titled American Association of Critical Care Nurses)
CMC Cardiovascular Medical Certification
CSC Cardiovascular Surgical Certification
CCNS Clinical Nurse Specialist Certification
PCCN Progressive Care Certified Nurse
ACNPC Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification

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CSA #7

This week’s box was a little smaller than usual. The picture is the entire box contents (before splitting with friends). A lot of strawberries and some nice looking lettuce (that we had to chop in half) are the highlights! See below for the full list from Harmony Valley Farm.

  • Red or Gold Green Top Beets: See vegetable feature on the back of the newsletter
  • Broccoli: The stems, leaves, and florets are all great to cook with & eat.  If you are not using the whole plant at once, the stems and florets will last a couple more days than the leaves.
  • Napa Cabbage:  The first cabbage of the season.  Chiffonade and toss with carrot rounds, julienned kohlrabi, oil, and vinegar for a light refreshing side dish.
  • Kohlrabi: For a tasty quick snack, remove the leaves and reserve for a later use.  Cut the kohlrabi into bite-sized pieces, sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper, and enjoy. Check out last week’s newsletter for recipes & info!
  • Iceburg, Red Boston or Red leaf lettuce: Use the leaves as “bread” for chicken or egg salad sandwiches or even a burger.
  • Sugar Snap Peas: You can eat the whole pod raw or cooked.  When cooking, add to the dish after it is taken off the heat so the peas will keep that desired crunch.  Some varieties have a “string.”  Break off the top calyx and pull the string away from the side of the pea.
  • Strawberries:  Start your day off with a smile by making a strawberry yogurt smoothie.
  • Purple or White Scallions: Thinly slice and add to a pizza right before serving.
  • Spinach, Bagged or Bunched: This spinach planting was too thin to cut as baby leaf, but grew up nicely to full size, big enough to bunch.  Bunched spinach is heartier than baby spinach.  Sauté ginger, onions, and spinach with sesame oil and finish with a splash of soy sauce.
  • Red Komatsuna:  Excellent greens to add to a bodacious “CSA box salad” comprised of your lettuce, broccoli, scallions & shaved kohlrabi, with a strawberry vinaigrette!  Or lightly sauté and serve with chicken or tofu.

We are starting to get a pile of veggies and being out of town for a long weekend of traveling isn’t good for that! Here is the stock picture and details from the newsletter.  Harmony Valley Farm rocks!

6.10.10 TC veg box

Potato Onions or Scallions:These long, skinny green onions can be used in omelets, stir-fry or potato dishes.

Garlic Scapes: Cut and use in pastas, soups and stir fry.  Try making some pesto.  Store garlic scapes in a damp paper towel in a plastic bag in the fridge.

Spinach or Salad: Spinach is always great no matter how you do it; creamed, raw, steamed, in salads or as a pizza topping.  Salad mix is a quick and easy way to get some greens in your diet when you don’t have much time.

Yukina Savoy: Yukina savoy has a dark green leaf and tender celery like stalk . Use like you would spinach in stir fry, salads or add to soup.

Bok Choi: These stalks are good to use like celery and the leafy greens are fine raw or sauted.  Chop and add other greens, sauté in butter and salt/pepper to taste.

Kohlrabi:  See Feature on back of newsletter

Green Leaf, Baby Red Romaine or Red Boston Lettuce:Lettuce is a great base for salads, top for sandwiches and can be use as a “tortilla” to wrap up other raw veggies for a fast veggie boost.

Strawberries:  A fantastic snack alone.  Try making strawberry pie or put in your pancakes for breakfast, chocolate covered is always nice or how about a fresh strawberry daiquiri.  Freeze for later use if storing for longer than three or four days in the fridge.

Choice -Spring Radish:  A crunchy treat in salads or sauté in butter to tame down its bite.  Store in plastic bag in fridge for 3-5 days.  The CHOICE box is for VEGGIE share members only.  Please only take one portion, if you choose.

CSA #5

Instead of just making a list of the veggies, here is what the newsletter actually says about them:

Green Onions – Egyptian Walking or Potato: Chop and top baked potatoes, potato skins or add to soups and salads.  The Egyptian Walking onion has hollow stalks, perfect for stuffing with anything you might stuff ravioli with and then steam.

Garlic Scapes: Cut into small pieces and add to soup or slice thin and add to meats, rice or wherever you would like an onion/garlic flavor.  Every part of the scape is edible.  Store in a plastic bag in the fridge.
Bok Choi : See Feature on the back of the newsletter
Rhubarb: Apple sauce?  Try rhubarb sauce.  Simmer rhubarb in just a little bit of water for 45 minutes to an hour. Stir, let cool, store in fridge and eat cold.  Add sugar, honey or your preferred sweetener if desired.
Asparagus: Last week for this!  A favorite fresh or grilled.  Try sliced thin, toss with a little lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
Yukina Savoy: A great green to add to stir fry and salads.
Pea Vine: As pea vine matures, the stems get tough starting from the base.  The tops of the pea vine stems may still be tender enough to enjoy. Simply pick the leaves off of the tough stems and toss in a salad.
Baby Broccoli: Raw, in salads, with veggie dip or grilled, this tender plant has a slightly sweet flavor.
Arugula, Salad Mix, Spinach or Sauté Mix: Any of these would be great as the base for a wilted salad with a warm bacon vinaigrette and hard boiled eggs.
Ostergruss Radish:  A beautiful rose-pink color, these radishes are easy to munch on as is and good in salads.
Strawberries:  Oh yes, it is that time once again.  These sweet berries are great raw and make a delightful strawberry vinaigrette for spinach salads.  Just the start of the season, these are from our beds of the Earliglow variety.
Greenleaf Lettuce:  An excellent green to add to salads or top your sandwich.
Baby Red Romaine: A sweet, deliciously crisp and tender lettuce to mix in with most anything in this box to create an awesome salad.