UPDATE: MNA announces intent to strike; To begin December 11

Thursday Minnesota Nurses Association announced intent to strike. 15,000 nurses in the Twin Cities, Twin Ports, and Two Harbors voted Wednesday to authorize a potential unfair labor practice strike in order to put patients before profits and to solve the crisis of care and working conditions in their hospitals. The strike is scheduled to begin at 7 am on Sunday, December 11. Nurses in the Twin Cities and at Essentia plan to strike through 7 am on Saturday, December 31- while nurses at St. Luke’s in Duluth and at Lake View in Two Harbors have chosen to strike with no end date set.
“Our hospitals are in crisis, and our CEOs have failed nurses and patients. They have failed to solve the crisis of patient care, and they have failed to solve the crisis of working conditions pushing nurses away from the bedside,” said Mary C. Turner, RN at North Memorial Hospital and President of the Minnesota Nurses Association. “Nurses are fighting to win contracts that will help nurses stay on the job to provide patients with the exceptional care they deserve. Hospital CEOs with million-dollar salaries can afford to put Patients Before Profits in our hospitals and to do right by Minnesota nurses.”
Since negotiations began in March, nurses have pressed hospital executives both at the bargaining table and in public over the need to negotiate with nurses to solve the crisis of care and working conditions in our hospitals.
“At the same time hospital CEOs tell us there is no money to retain staff and prioritize care, executives are taking million-dollar raises and pursuing corporate expansions that put community access to affordable care at risk,” said Chris Rubesch, RN at Essentia in Duluth and First Vice President of the Minnesota Nurses Association. “Nurses and patients need safe staffing and quality care in our hospitals, not more corporate healthcare policies. We are ready to fight and win fair contracts to hold hospital CEOs accountable to our communities.”

Nurses voted overwhelmingly to authorize a potential unfair labor practices strike, which required a two-thirds majority of votes to pass. The vote authorizes nurse negotiation leaders to call an unfair labor practices strike following a 10-day notice to hospital employers.

The strike authorization comes as nurses in the Twin Cities and Twin Ports have negotiated for eight months with hospital executives and have worked without contracts since summer.

Minnesota nurses previously held a historic three-day strike in September, believed to be the largest strike of private-sector nurses in United States history.