Allina nurses seek federal mediator 1 year after ending strike

The Minnesota Nurses Association on Wednesday filed a complaint against Minneapolis-based Allina Health, alleging the system has not lived up to a provision in the contract that ended a 37-day nurse strike last year, according to the StarTribune.

The complaint focuses on a contract stipulation designed to reduce workloads by ending mandatory patient assignments for nurses in charge of wards.

"For patient safety it just isn't appropriate for a charge nurse to be responsible for those charge nurse roles and also be responsible for delivering excellent patient care," Emily Sippola, RN, charge nurse with United Hospital, told MPR News.

Allina said the nurses' complaint is a misreading of the contract, according to a statement obtained by the StarTribune

"The agreement … was to meet and review situations in which the charge nurse did take a patient assignment and determine whether that was appropriate," Allina said in the statment. "We have made substantial progress on these reviews, and they will be completed by the end of the year."

The union demanded federal mediation to address the provision. Allina nurses from Abbott Northwestern in Minneapolis, Mercy in Coon Rapids, Unity Hospital in Fridley and United Hospital in St. Paul have also petitioned the health system about the issue.

On Oct. 13, 2016, nurses employed by Allina Health voted to approve a contract with the system, ending nine months of contentious negotiations during which the union went on strike twice.

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