Essentia Health, MNA reach tentative agreement

Another tentative agreement is in place between the Minnesota Nurses Association and Essentia Health.

It would be a 3-year contract covering about 1,300 nurses. According to the MNA, it’s a 17% pay increase in the Twin Ports.

The MNA sent a statement that said, ““This tentative agreement is a historic win for nurses and patients at the bedside,” said Mary C. Turner, RN at North Memorial Hospital and President of the Minnesota Nurses Association. “For years, hospital executives have been pushing nurses out of the profession by under-staffing our units and under-valuing our nurses. This tentative agreement will help to keep nurses at the bedside, where we will keep fighting to oppose the corporate healthcare policies which threaten our hospital systems and the care our patients deserve.”

The statement went on to say that the contracts would include unprecedented language won by MNA nurses to address chronic understaffing for the first time in history. Staffing changes won by MNA nurses in the tentative agreements will give nurses a say in how staffing levels are set and to ensure changes to staffing levels benefit nurses and patients at the bedside.

Staffing changes won by nurses vary by each tentative agreement, including language to: prevent reductions in staffing levels without consensus between nurses and management; help protect nurses from discipline when they raise concerns about unsafe assignments; and to trigger reviews of staffing levels by nurses and management in response to key measures of patient and nurse wellbeing and outcomes.

RELATED STORY: MNA reaches tentative agreement with St. Luke’s Hospital

The Essentia bargaining website said, “We are pleased to announce that Essentia Health and the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract covering nurses who care for patients at our hospitals in Duluth and Superior. This positive outcome is the result of hard work at the bargaining table.”

As a part of the tentative agreement, the MNA agreed to withdraw its strike notice.

This comes just hours after the tentative agreement was reached between St. Luke’s and the MNA.