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Nurse Fired During Fight For PPE Now Facing Board Of Nursing Investigation

Cliff Willmeng, RN of 13 years, Union Steward, and Whistleblower, Has January 7, 2021, Date Set for Union Arbitration: Local and National Defense Campaign Mobilizing Now.

Cliff Willmeng, the RN employed at Allina Health’s United Hospital in St Paul, Minnesota, who was fired during workplace struggles for frontline safety and patient care, received notification that Allina Health reported him to the Minnesota Board of Nursing last week. The Board of Nursing, the state governmental body that issues and maintains licenses for registered nurses, can both censor nurses and revoke nurses’ licenses.

Willlmeng has never been reported to any Board of Nursing during his 13-year nursing career, which spans three states and includes employment in emergency medicine, intensive care, and other nursing specialties. Willmeng views the report as additional retaliation by United Hospital for his role in standing up for workplace and patient safety, an effort reported by state and national media since April 2020. His termination is currently the subject of whistleblower litigation set for trial in Ramsey County on August 23, 2021. At the time of his firing, Willmeng was a union steward for the Minnesota Nursing Association (MNA). He was recently elected to the Board of Directors of MNA.

“Myself, my family, and my coworkers reject all retaliation against frontline healthcare providers, who continue to stand up for our patients’ safety and our own protection. Declining working conditions in our hospitals are straining healthcare staff at the moment of greatest public need during a deadly pandemic. We cannot allow the corporate management of healthcare to triangulate our healthcare providers, and will not lay down when our patients and the community need us the most.”

A defense campaign just launched with local and national support for Willmeng, building up to his union arbitration on January 7 and 8, 2021.

More information:

Petition to Support Cliff Willmeng:

Legal Defense Fund:


During the opening months of the COVID 19 pandemic, frontline healthcare workers at St Paul’s United Hospital began to take measures to protect themselves, their families and the public they serve. The efforts were opposed by management, who among other positions they took, also insisted workers use their personal scrubs instead of the scrubs available at the hospital used by doctors, physician assistants and some nurses.

This meant that nurses would have to bring the scrubs they worked in all day home to be washed, adding a potential source of infection to their families. Dozens of nurses refused to do this. Management responded with disciplinary measures, violation of union rights, and intimidation of the frontline workforce. Cliff Willmeng, a union steward, husband,, father of two, and nurse of 13 years was fired during these efforts for workplace and patient safety.

These battles played out in local and national media. Cliff’s termination is the subject of a union grievance set to go to arbitration on January 7th and 8th of 2021 and a whistleblower lawsuit against Allina Health, the parent company of United Hospital.

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