St. Luke’s Nurses Prepared to Strike After Failed Negotiations

Nurses say they need safer staffing. more consistent scheduling.

DULUTH, Minn.- Nurses at Saint Luke’s in Duluth are one step closer to a possible strike after negotiations stalled between the hospital and its union on Monday.

It’s happening as nurses at Essentia Health are voting on their new contract.

After negotiating for about 18 hours, Saint Luke’s nurses and management will return to the bargaining table again on Wednesday.

Among the issues both nursing groups want addressed are consistent scheduling and having safer staffing levels at both sites.

“To put out schedules that have no holes in them with identified areas where we have no staff based upon our anticipated patient caseload,” said Pete Boyechko, a home care nurse and Co-Chair of the St. Luke’s MNA Bargaining Unit.

“We don’t have a solid mechanism to bring nurses in, to walk away from their families.”

Saint Luke’s has also released a statement which reads in part:

“We are surprised and disappointed that the union would consider encouraging nurses to strike without exhausting the bargaining process. Nonetheless, we remain committed to negotiating in good faith…”

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