Twin Ports MNA nurses set to picket June 21

Thursday morning, Twin Ports nurses announced their intent to picket, starting June 21.

The 15,000 Twin Ports nurses from both St. Luke’s and Essentia are seeking contracts they say prioritize patient care at the bedside, not the bottom line of CEOs with million-dollar salaries and their corporate healthcare policies.

"Despite the toll of COVID-19, nurses want to work the jobs we love. We are seeking contracts which will allow us stay at the bedside and provide the care our patients deserve," said Chris Rubesch, RN-Essentia Duluth, and MNA First Vice President. "Nurses are fed up with corporate healthcare which gives multi-million dollar salaries to CEOs who then close hospitals, cut staff, and charge patients more. We are ready to fight to put community healthcare before corporate profits."

Current contracts for Twin Ports nurses will expire on June 30, 2022. This informational picket is not a work stoppage; nurses will not be walking off the job to participate in the picket and hospital operations will not be affected by the action.

St. Luke’s Hospital said in a statement they were "disappointed" in the MNA’s decision to picket in the midst of what they referred to as "good faith negotiations."

"While still fully engaged in negotiating an equitable agreement with our nurses in the coming weeks, we will be educating the communities we serve on the value we place in and the support we provide to our patients, staff and communities," the hospital said.