Minnesota Nurses Association says another strike authorization vote is coming

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On Thursday morning, an update from the Minnesota Nurses Association about their contract talks.

The president of the MNA, Mary C. Turner, said their 15,000 members will take another strike authorization vote on November 30th.

You may remember that nurses in the Twin Ports and Twin Cities metro area went on strike in September. It was three days, and the largest nurses strike in U.S. history.

The two sides have been bargaining for eight months, according to Turner. And she said their members are experiencing unfair labor practices, and those have been filed with the Bureau of Mediation Services.

“Do you think we want to abandon our patients? It is heartbreaking. Do you think we want to be on the sidewalk in January? We are trying to save our profession, and health care as we know it,” she said.

Essentia sent a statement on Thursday, which reads:

“Essentia Health continues to believe that if both parties come to the table in good faith and engage in constructive discussions, we can reach an agreement that supports excellent patient care and the growth and development of all our nurses. That’s why we are disappointed to hear the MNA is considering another work stoppage. As we saw earlier this year, a strike does not bring us closer to an agreement. Our history of years of successful negotiations shows us that the best solutions are found through productive dialogue at the bargaining table. We remain committed to that effort and expect the MNA to explore with us innovative solutions that work for our nurses and the communities that we serve. In the meantime, Essentia’s highest priority will remain the safety and well-being of our patients.”

St. Luke’s sent their statement as well:

“We are extremely encouraged to hear Mary Turner’s willingness to welcome a mediator to the negotiations table. We have been requesting a mediator for more than six months, as we believe a mediator will help us reach a settlement. We look forward to reaching a contract agreement that is fair to our employees, our patients and our communities as soon as possible.”