Minnesota nurses vote to strike for 2nd time this year: “Our hospitals are in crisis”

The Minnesota Nurses Association, which represents 15,000 nurses from dozens of hospitals throughout the state, has voted to authorize an unfair labor practices strike. 

The proposed strike, which is able to contain nurses from 16 hospitals statewide, is about to start on Dec. 11, until negotiations with hospitals progress to a degree the place a strike turns into pointless. Nurses voted “overwhelmingly” to strike for up to 20 days, the Minnesota Nurses Association advised CBS Minnesota, and at two hospitals, the strike has no finish date. 

This is the second time the union has approved a strike this year: An earlier strike ran for three days in September for what the nurses mentioned had been unfair labor practices. At the time, the union mentioned they had been involved about employees shortages, worker retention and security. It was believed to be the most important private-sector nurses’ strike in U.S. historical past, in accordance to the Minnesota Nurses Association.

In a press launch, the group said that the new strike was approved due to those self same considerations, claiming that even after returning to work in September, insurance policies that had been negotiated on have not been enacted. Nurses in a number of Minnesota cities, together with Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth, have been with out a contract since summer season 2022. 

Twin Cities nurses go on strike
ROBBINSDALE, MN – SEPTEMBER 12: Nurses strike Monday, Sept. 12, 2022 outdoors North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale, Minn. A 3- day nurses strike in the Twin Cities and Duluth started round daybreak.

David Joles/Star Tribune through Getty Images

“Our hospitals are in crisis, and our CEOs have failed nurses and patients. They have failed to solve the crisis of patient care, and they have failed to solve the crisis of working conditions pushing nurses away from the bedside,” mentioned Mary C. Turner, a nurse at North Memorial Hospital and president of the Minnesota Nurses Association, in a press launch. “Nurses are fighting to win contracts that will help nurses stay on the job to provide patients with the exceptional care they deserve. Hospital CEOs with million-dollar salaries can afford to put Patients Before Profits in our hospitals and to do right by Minnesota nurses.” 

The Minnesota Nurses Association mentioned the nurses who had been hanging are from hospitals the place the pay ratio for CEOs to nurses is 10 to one. 

Hospitals impacted by the strike shortly responded to Thursday’s vote, saying that the union had acted too swiftly. The Twin Cities Hospitals Group mentioned that the Minnesota Nurses Association “completely failed to give the mediation process time,” and mentioned it was making preparations to guarantee “continuity of care” for sufferers who could be affected by the proposed strike. 

“The Twin Cities Hospitals Group is shocked and deeply disappointed that the nurses’ union has once again chosen to issue 10-day strike notices throughout the metro and Duluth before exhausting all reasonable efforts to reach an agreement,” the hospitals mentioned in a press release. “… The nurses’ union 10-day strike notices are completely contrary to the best interests of our patients and the communities we serve. Their announcement today is entirely inconsistent with their claim that they are acting to protect patients.” 

The group additionally mentioned that it had lately introduced mediators into the negotiation course of, however claimed that the union “elected to pursue a strike” fairly than proceed negotiations. Another bargaining session between the Minnesota Nurses Association and the hospitals is about for Friday, and the Twin Cities Hospitals Group mentioned that its negotiators “will exhaust all means necessary to avoid a work stoppage.” 

Allina Health, one other healthcare system in Minnesota, echoed that sentiment in its own statement, saying that it has labored with the Minnesota Nurses Association to “find alignment on a number of priority issues” and is “hopeful to continue to make meaningful progress” to avert a strike.

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