Allina nurses to strike in October

Nurses at Allina Health's WestHealth campus in Plymouth, Minn., plan to strike in October amid contract negotiations, according to the union that represents them.

The Minnesota Nurses Association, which represents about 50 nurses at Abbott Northwestern WestHealth's emergency department and urgent care facilities, said its members seek a contract that provides fair pay for holiday work and adequate benefits.

"A fair contract that provides adequate benefits and holiday pay will not only justly compensate the nurses currently working, but it is also essential to attract and retain new talent in the profession," the union said in a news release. "While there is no shortage of nurses who want to work at the bedside, there is a shortage of nurses willing to work under current hospital conditions. A fair contract is an important first step toward ensuring a safe and welcoming workplace."

Both sides have been in negotiations since May, and nurses at WestHealth voted to authorize a strike on Oct. 6. Thus far, an agreement has not been reached to avert a strike.

During negotiations, Allina Health has "consistently offered proposals that demonstrate our commitment to our employees, including an immediate wage increase to align wages with other metro hospitals and agreeing to some of the union's other priority issues," the Minneapolis-based system said in a statement shared with Becker's.   

"Allina Health's priority is providing high-quality care to the community. At a time when hospitals are under significant pressure throughout the state and country due to sustained high volumes from COVID-19 and other acute illness, a work stoppage benefits no one," Allina Health added. "It is our preference to reach an agreement on a new contract that prioritizes the health needs of the community and sustainably recognizes the contributions of our employees."  

The strike is scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. Oct. 17 and end at 7 a.m. Oct. 20. 

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