4,800 Allina nurses to vote on whether to strike or give up union-backed health plans

Nurses at Minneapolis-based Allina Health have a decision to make — give up their union-backed health plans or strike, according to a Star Tribune report.

Allina Health has presented the 4,800 nurses, represented by the Minnesota Nurses Association, with a final offer that would move the workers to plans that other health system employees receive.

In an online document explaining its decision, Allina Health said the union-backed plans "have not kept pace" with reforms in healthcare financing, "making them very expensive for Allina Health and for our nurses," according to the report.

The health system argues it would save $10 million with nurses off of their union-backed plans, which have traditional benefit structures of higher premiums but low co-pays and deductibles and broad physician networks, the Star Tribune reports. Plans used by other Allina Health employees have lower premiums but more cost-sharing features.

But nurses believe the $10 million in savings would come at their expense, and that the union-backed plans are a benefit they protected while making other sacrifices in the past, according to the report.

Nurses are scheduled to vote on Allina Health's offer June 6. If nurses vote "yes," the contract with Allina Health would be approved, but a "no" vote would set the stage for a strike, according to the Star Tribune. The union would have to notify Allina Health 10 days before a strike would occur.


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