Additional Minnesota nurses to join strike authorization vote

Members of the Minnesota Nurses Association at St. Luke's Lake View Hospital in Two Harbors will join 15,000 nurses at 15 other facilities in the Twin Cities and Twin Ports in a Nov. 30 strike authorization vote.

Union members at Essentia Health-Moose Lake were also slated to join the vote. However, Duluth-based Essentia Health reached a tentative agreement with nurses in Moose Lake, which indicates that the Moose Lake location will not participate, according to a health system news release shared with Becker's.

The vote — which comes after union members reached the last day of their three-day strike Sept. 14 — affects hospitals run by Allina Health, HealthPartners, Essentia Health, Fairview Health Services, Children's Minnesota, North Memorial Health and St. Luke's. Union members must authorize a strike and then issue a 10-day notice to hospital employers before a walkout could occur.

The MNA contends that during negotiations, hospital executives have refused to adequately address care and working conditions in negotiations.

"Nurses have tried everything we can to make our hospital executives hear us; we have internally reached out to our CEO and management back in January of this year, we have been determined to try to get them to be proactive, published an open letter to the community, we took to the sidewalk with an informational picket, and we have worked hard at the bargaining table," the union's Lake View nurse negotiating team said in a Nov. 28 news release.

Hospitals have said during negotiations that they are pleased the union agreed to pursue mediation and are committed to reaching fair contracts.

"Lake View will continue our strong tradition of working collaboratively with the MNA to reach an agreement that is fair to all of our stakeholders, including our patients, community, and our entire Lake View team," the hospital said in a statement shared with Becker's.  

The contract for nurses in the Twin Cities expired on May 31, and contracts for nurses in the Twin Ports expired on June 30. An agreement for nurses at Lake View expired Sept. 30.Lake View's next bargaining session is scheduled for Dec. 9. 

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