Minnesota Nurses Association Votes To Go On Strike

Mna Union Miller Hill Mall

MINNESOTA — The Minnesota Nurses Association voted to authorize a strike on Monday night, which includes nurses in both the Twin Ports and Twin Cities.

The MNA says the strike will include approximately 15,000 nurses.

In a press release, the union said the negotiations between the MNA and hospital executives have gone on since March, and the nurses are not currently under contracts.

“Hospital executives with million-dollar salaries have created a crisis of retention and care in our healthcare system, as more nurses are leaving the bedside, putting quality patient care at risk,” Mary C. Turner, RN at North Memorial Hospital and President of the Minnesota Nurses Association, said in the press release. “Nurses do not take this decision lightly, but we are determined to take a stand at the bargaining table, and on the sidewalk if necessary, to put patients before profits in our hospitals.”

Now that the strike has been authorized, the hospitals will receive a 10-day notice before it begins.

The MNA says that with 15,000 nurses, the strike “would be one of the largest nurses strikes in U.S. history, and would be the first time Twin Cities and Twin Ports nurses took such an action together in contract negotiations.”

The strike authorization came from nurses who work at 15 hospitals that are part of seven hospital systems.

The strike authorization follows the informational picketing MNA nurses held back in June, which did not affect staffing levels at the hospitals since the nurses did not walk off the job.

Essentia Health and St. Luke’s will send new statements later on Tuesday.

This is what they sent to FOX21 last week about the negotiations:

St. Luke’s statement:

“Mary Turner claimed [last Thursday] that MNA’s entire economic package amounts to a 30% increase. This is false. At our negotiating table, MNA is demanding over a 50% increase. MNA’s salary demand alone is 36.5% over three years, or more than a 12% increase per year. That means the average nurse currently making $50/hour would be making $70/hour. We’re committed to competitive compensation for all our employees and a fair contract, but MNA’s demands are unreasonable.

Here’s how MNA’s wage request stacks up with other recently settled contracts:

· City of Duluth employees: +8% over 3 years

· Duluth Teachers: +4.5% over 2 years

· Minnesota Health Care Professional Unit (includes Nurses who are represented by MNA): +5% over 2 years

We have a lot more information about how St. Luke’s is a champion for nurses, provides quality care, and is a good steward of community resources on our website: YourCareDestination.com.”

Essentia Health statement:

“Essentia Health will continue to negotiate in good faith and is committed to reaching an agreement that benefits our nurses, provides expert, compassionate care for our patients and promotes stewardship for our organization. Essentia provides pay and benefits that help us remain competitive in the communities we’re privileged to serve, and we are continuously exploring innovative ways to enhance the recruitment and professional development of our nurses. Essentia has a long history of reaching mutually acceptable agreements while avoiding work stoppages.”

 

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