Nurses to picket 11 Minnesota hospitals amid contract negotiations

Members of the Minnesota Nurses Association plan to hold an informational picket June 1 at 11 Twin Cities hospitals, the union said in a May 19 news release.  

The announcement comes as 15,000 nurses who work at facilities in the Twin Cities and Twin Ports seek new labor agreements to address staffing, patient care and wages. 

"Our healthcare system is in critical condition. Hospital executives with million-dollar salaries have created a staffing and retention crisis which is pushing nurses away from the bedside," Mary Turner, RN, president of the Minnesota Nurses Association, said in the release. "The future of our healthcare system depends on the choices we make now. Nurses are ready to fight and win for our patients and our practice. I hope the public will stand with us in our fight to put patients before profits in our hospitals."

During negotiations, nurses are seeking fair pay for their work during the pandemic and for the rising cost of living, and they want "to solve the crisis of understaffing and retention," among other priorities, the union said.

Contracts for nurses in the Twin Cities will expire May 31, while contracts for Twin Ports nurses will expire June 30.

In a statement shared with Becker's, the Twin Cities Hospital Group said it "recognizes and respects the Minnesota Nurses Association's right to conduct informational picketing as part of the contract negotiation process."

The group added: "For the past seven weeks, we've engaged in good faith negotiations to reach a fair and equitable agreement. We will continue to bring forth proposals that recognize the efforts of our nurses, the realities of the business environment, and the need to continually reshape the way health care is provided to the community we serve."

The informational picket is not a strike. Informational pickets are scheduled throughout the day June 1 at hospitals owned by Allina Health, M Health Fairview, North Memorial, Children's Hospitals and HealthPartners.

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