Twin Ports MNA nurses begin informational picket

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A strong show of support from Twin Ports nurses, marching in an informational picket outside the hospitals Tuesday.

From 7:30am to 5:30pm, nurses are wearing red and marching with signs, as contract negotiations take place between both St. Luke’s and Essentia-St. Mary’s and the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA).

Among other things, one of the biggest points nurses are pushing for is better staffing support. They say this will help to improve the overall quality of care for their patients.

"It’s so important for the community to know what we’re standing for and why we’re out here," shared Chris Rubesch, a negotiating team member for MNA/ "We’re on their side. We’re here to advocate for world class health care that everyone in their community, our community needs, that my family deserves and your family deserves. And we want the community to know we’re here for them."

Members of the community showed support where they could. Cars honked as they drove by, and nurses outside the Twin Ports came to join in the march, like ICU nurse Keandra Schumacher. "I’m just like super thankful that the community did come out seeing the fire department out here," shared Schumacher.

Nurses walking the line told WDIO they are hopeful the community support will show management that these nurses are intentional in terms of their new contract.

"Of course we would like a contract to be settled before our contract expires on the 30th, but we’re willing to continue to negotiate in good faith- as long as management continues to work with us, and have constructive dialog to achieve our common goals of safe patient care," shared Rubesch.

St. Luke’s shared a statement with WDIO, saying they are looking forward to continued negotiations:

St. Luke’s is listening to the demands of the MNA that are being shared as part of today’s informational picket. We continue to work towards an agreement that aligns the best interests of our patients, our employees, and our community.

St. Luke’s has made, by any reasonable measure, a fair contract proposal that recognizes the contributions of our nurses while helping ensure that we can keep health care affordable and accessible. In fact, St. Luke’s is offering the most comprehensive staffing proposal on the negotiating table in the State of Minnesota.

St. Luke’s has created a website,, to share information about how we’re working with our nurses toward a fair and equitable agreement. We will provide updates and progress throughout the negotiations.

We are committed to constructive talks, solution-seeking and transparency, and we look forward to another productive bargaining session with the MNA tomorrow.

Again, contracts expire June 30.