ST. PAUL (AP/KVRR) — Nurses at 16 hospitals in the Twin Cities and Duluth areas have authorized workers to go on a second strike, as early as December 11.
Union leaders say it will happen if a contract deal is not reached in the coming days.
Minnesota Nurses Association says the walkouts will last until December 31 at most hospitals; nurses at St. Luke’s hospitals in Duluth and Two Harbors will stay on strike until a deal is reached.
Leaders of the association hope the vote will motivate hospital leadership to improve offers on pay, workplace violence prevention and staffing levels.
Leaders at Minnesota Children’s say this strike couldn’t come at a worse time with unprecedented cases of RSV and rising cases of COVID and flu among kids.
CEO Dr. Marc Gorelick said, “Unprecedented surge of respiratory illness straining the system, I think we can all agree this is the worst possible time for the union to call for a strike that would pull nurses away from the bedside.”
“We don’t want to be out on that sidewalk,” said Angela Becchetti, RN with Abbott Northwestern. “We want to be at the bedside caring for our patients. But the conditions our executives have created in our hospitals are unsustainable for our nurses, but most importantly for our patients.”
Allina Health is another hospital systems involved, and says it is disappointed but negotiations will continue.