MNA announces 15K nurses plan to strike for fair contracts
(ABC 6 News) – The Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) announced on Thursday morning that 15,000 nurses plan to strike for three days beginning September 12.
Nurses at 16 hospitals in the Twin Cities, Twin Ports, and Moose Lake are fighting for fair contracts alleging that hospital CEO’s with multi-million dollar salaries have refused to negotiate with nurses over solutions of short-staffing, retention and patient care.
“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,” said Mary C. Turner, RN at North Memorial Hospital and President of the Minnesota Nurses Association. “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.”
The strike is believed to be the largest private-sector nurses’ strike in U.S. history, and it comes as nurses have negotiated with hospital executives for more than five months and have worked without contracts for the last several months, according to the MNA.
The strike will be the first that Twin Cities and Twin Ports nurses have taken together in contract negotiations.
According to the MNA, the potential strike would affect the following hospitals:
- M Health Fairview: Riverside, Southdale, St. Joseph’s and St. John’s
- Essentia Health: St. Mary’s Duluth, St. Mary’s Superior and Essentia Moose Lake (MNA adds Essentia Moose Lake nurses would join the strike while seeking their own contract with Essentia Health)
- HealthPartners: Methodist
- Allina Health: Abbott Northwestern, Mercy, United and Unity
- Children’s Hospitals: Children’s Minneapolis and Children’s St. Paul
- North Memorial: North Memorial
- St. Luke’s: St. Luke’s
Thursday’s announcement follows a vote last month by the 15,000 nurse members to authorize a strike which passed with overwhelming support, well beyond the two-thirds majority required.
The MNA says since that strike vote, nurses have met for additional negotiations with hospital executives who have continued to refuse solutions to short-staffing, retention and better patient care.
Following the vote by Twin Cities and Twin Port nurses, nurses at Moose Lake also voted to authorize a strike and will join other nurses in striking on September 12.
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