MNA: Minnesota nurses to vote on second strike
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - According to the Minnesota Nurses Association, on Nov. 30, approximately 15,000 nurses will vote on whether they will organize a second strike.
The first strike on Sept. 12 took place over three days. Nurses asked hospital executives to increase staffing, improve working conditions and raise wages. The MNA website reports that hospital executives have failed to address their concerns since then. The union claims executives have continued to “commit regular unfair labor practices, including colluding to keep wages down for nurses, direct dealing with nurse union members, and refusing to provide information necessary for the bargaining process.”
The potential strike would affect Fairview Health Services, the health executives of which recently signed a letter of intent to merge with Sanford Health. The strike would also affect Allina Health, HealthPartners, Essentia Health, Children’s Minnesota, North Memorial Health, and St. Luke’s.
Some hospitals are arranging mediation sessions before the Nov. 30 vote, hoping to negotiate a working environment and contract that the nurses are on board with.
According to the MNA, the Minneapolis-based Allina Health issued the following statement: “We are facing an intensifying surge of illness related to RSV and influenza that is creating an access-to-care crisis in our hospitals with real impacts to the lives of Minnesotans. With this vote, the union is choosing to be opportunistic at a time of vulnerability for our community by disrupting care.”
The hospital executives argue that nurses in Minnesota are among some of the highest paid in the country, with annual wages averaging over $80,000.
If nurses decide to strike, they will have to give hospitals a 10-day notice before walking out.
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