Dec 6, 2022 - News

Minnesota nurses strike called off following tentative contract deal

minnesota nurses on strike

Nurses at Children's Minnesota and United Hospital in St. Paul were among some 15,000 nurses who walked off the job in September. Photo: John Autey / MediaNews Group / St. Paul Pioneer Press via Getty Images

A planned strike by thousands of Twin Cities nurses was called off Tuesday following a tentative agreement to raise wages by 18% over the next three years.

Why it matters: The strike, which was set to begin this weekend and last for up to 20 days, could have further strained hospitals already overwhelmed by flu, RSV and COVID cases.

Flashback: An estimated 15,000 nurses in the Twin Cities and Duluth walked off the job for three days in September, after months of failed contract talks. They argued that better pay and more control over staffing were needed to counter pandemic burnout and other workforce issues.

  • Hiring temporary replacement nurses for that period cost hospitals tens of millions of dollars, per The Star Tribune.

Zoom in: The raises included in the three-year contracts will be retroactive to the end of the last contracts earlier this year, per MNA. Language related to staffing policies varied by hospital.

What they're saying: MNA president Mary C. Turner called the deal a "historic win for nurses and patients at the bedside."

  • Twin Cities Hospitals Group spokesperson Paul Omodt said it "shows that when we work together, we can develop staffing language that meets the unique needs of our hospitals, our nurses, and most importantly, our patients."

Of note: Agreements for nurses working in Duluth include slightly smaller raises of 17% over three years. A unit of 18 nurses working at Lake View in Two Harbors was still negotiating as of midday Tuesday, an MNA spokesperson said.

What's next: Members will vote on whether to approve the tentative contracts.

  • A date has not been set. The union is recommending a yes vote.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with comments from the nurses and the hospital group.


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