Aug 17, 2022 - News

Minnesota nurses vote to authorize a strike

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

More than 15,000 health care workers in the Twin Cities and Duluth are one step closer to staging one of the largest nurse strikes in U.S. history.

Driving the news: Members of the Minnesota Nurses Association voted Monday to authorize a strike amid stalled contract negotiations.

The vote covers nurses working at 15 hospitals, including Abbott Northwestern, Children's St. Paul and North Memorial.

  • The union will need to give 10 days notice to employers before members walk off the job.

What they're saying: Union leaders said hospital policies and executive compensation have left nurses overworked and underpaid.

  • "Nurses have one priority in our hospitals, to take care of our patients, and we are determined to fight for fair contracts so nurses can stay at the bedside to provide the quality care our patients deserve,” Chris Rubesch, a registered nurse at Essentia in Duluth and first vice president of the Minnesota Nurses Association, said in a statement.

The other side: Allina Health, one of several hospital systems negotiating with the union members, told The Star Tribune it offered 11% raises over three years and proposals aimed meeting the union's priorities during negotiations.

  • It said that the strike vote will "only further delay reaching a settlement at the bargaining table."

What's next: Talks are expected to continue in the weeks ahead.

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