Minnesota nurses vote for second strike this year: ‘Our hospitals are in crisis’

Minnesota nurses vote for second strike this year: ‘Our hospitals are in crisis’

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  • December 2, 2022
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The Minnesota Nurses Association, which represents 15,000 nurses from dozens of hospitals across the state, has voted to authorize a strike over unfair labor practices.

The planned strike, which will involve nurses from 16 hospitals across the state, is slated to begin December 11 unless negotiations with the hospitals progress to the point where a strike becomes unnecessary. Nurses voted “overwhelmingly” to go on strike for up to 20 days, the Minnesota Nurses Association told CBS Minnesota, and at two hospitals the strike has no end date.

This is the second time the union has authorized a strike this year: an earlier strike lasted for three days in September over alleged unfair labor practices by nurses. At the time, the union said it was concerned about staff shortages, staff retention and safety. It was the largest strike by private sector nurses in US history, according to the Minnesota Nurses Association.

In a press release, the organization said the new strike was approved based on the same concerns, claiming that even after returning to work in September, the negotiated guidelines had not come into effect. Nurses in several Minnesota cities, including Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth, have been out of contract since the summer of 2022.

Twin Cities nurses are on strike

ROBBINSDALE, MN – SEPTEMBER 12: Nurses strike Monday, September 12, 2022 outside North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale, Minnesota. A three-day strike by nurses in the Twin Cities and Duluth began around dawn. David Joles/Star Tribune via Getty Images

“Our hospitals are in crisis and our CEOs have failed nurses and patients. They have failed to solve the patient care crisis and they have failed to solve the working conditions crisis that is pushing nurses off the bed,” said Mary C. Turner, registered nurse at North Memorial Hospital and president of the Minnesota Nurses Association , in a press release. “Nurses are struggling to win contracts that will help them stay in the job and provide patients with the exceptional care they deserve. Hospital directors with million dollar salaries can afford to put patients before profits in our hospitals and get what’s right from the Minnesota nurses. ”

The Minnesota Nurses Association said the striking nurses were from hospitals where the CEO-to-nurse pay ratio is 10-to-1.

Hospitals affected by the strike reacted quickly to Thursday’s vote, saying the union had acted too hastily. The Twin Cities Hospitals Group said the Minnesota Nurses Association “completely failed to give time to the mediation process” and said it was making preparations to ensure “continuity of care” for patients who could be affected by the planned strike .

“The Twin Cities Hospitals Group is shocked and deeply disappointed that the nurses’ union has again opted to issue 10-day strike notices throughout the subway and Duluth before all reasonable efforts have been made to reach an agreement,” the hospitals said in a statement. “…The nurses’ union 10-day strike announcements are totally at odds with the interests of our patients and the communities we serve. Your announcement today is completely at odds with your claim that you are acting to protect patients.”

The group also said it had recently brought in mediators into the negotiation process, but claimed that the union “opted to go on strike” rather than continue negotiations. Another negotiation session between the Minnesota Nurses Association and the hospitals is scheduled for Friday, and the Twin Cities Hospitals Group said its negotiators will “exhaust any means necessary to avoid a work stoppage.”

Allina Health, another Minnesota health system, echoed that sentiment in its own statement, saying it has worked with the Minnesota Nurses Association to “find alignment on a number of priority issues” and “hopes to continue to make meaningful advances.” achieve”. avert a strike.

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