Essentia Nurses Accept Contract, St. Luke’s Union Schedules Strike Vote

Essentia nurses voted Tuesday night to accept a three-year contract. Essentia nurses voted Tuesday night to accept a three-year contract.  |  Photo: WDIO/Glenn Kellahan

Baihly Warfield
Updated: September 10, 2019 10:39 PM

Nurses at Essentia have voted to accept a three-year union contract agreement, while their counterparts at St. Luke's are readying for a possible strike.


"The Essentia nurses are happy to put this difficult bargaining process behind us," Chris Rubesch, a negotiations team member, said. "We're looking forward to focusing on our patients and delivering the top-notch healthcare that Duluth patients deserve."

The three-year deal includes:

  • Pay increases of 3% for the first two years and 2.25% for the third year
  • Student loan reimbursement of $2,400 for a two-year degree and $3,600 for a four-year degree
  • Extra emergency department pay to ensure staffing meets patient demand
  • Workplace violence protections to help injured nurses before worker's comp kicks in

St. Luke's nurses begin bargaining again Wednesday morning. However, the Minnesota Nurses Association said they have also scheduled a strike vote for Thursday, Sept. 12 if a tentative agreement is not reached.

The strike vote means the negotiation team can call a strike if they choose. It must pass by a two-thirds majority. MNA said the negotiating team would then decide if, when, and how long a strike could take place.


Baihly Warfield

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved


MNA raising concerns about healthcare working conditions

St. Scholastica PA student sewing masks for future colleagues

WI National Guard to assist with polling station staffing, other missions

Eric Erkkila announces candidacy for County Commissioner

Duluth leaders provide update about distance learning

Toby's drive-by birthday