Updated September 15, 2022 · 3 Min Read
MNA nurses wrapped up the third and final day of their strike on Wednesday, September 14. They plan to return to the bedside Thursday morning at 7 a.m., but the results of the strike are still yet to be seen.
In a statement posted on Wednesday, St. Luke‘s Hospital said it will "welcome nurses back" Thursday morning and says it's willing to continue negotiations. Allina Health and Essentia have also expressed openness to further negotiations.
During Wednesday's press conference, Chris Rubesch, first vice president for the MNA, said Essentia has approached the association and offered new dates for potential discussions.
When asked if there was a possibility of an additional strike, he said the MNA is not planning one at present and is waiting to see how negotiations go.
"First and foremost, we're hoping that this [strike] brings management back to the table and gets us a contract settlement … we hopefully have constructive dialogue with management engaging us and responding on our top priority, which is staffing."
Fifteen thousand nurses from 16 Minnesota hospitals are on strike across the state, making it the biggest nurses strike in U.S. history. MNA members are asking for increased staffing, better security measures, changes to shift scheduling procedures, and increased wages.
According to the MNA, more than 500 nurses at Children's Minnesota Hospital - St. Paul have left over the past three years due to stressful working conditions. More than 3,500 concerns for safe-staffing reports have been filed by nurses at the hospital over the last two years.
"This is a fight for our very profession," Mary Turner, president of the MNA said during a press conference that took place outside of Children's Minnesota Hospital - St. Paul this morning.
Temporary nurses have been brought to Minnesota hospitals to fill in this week, but it's unclear if hospitals are adequately compensating during the massive walkout.
Contract negotiations that have taken place over the last four months haven't led to any successful compromise. The MNA announced its intention to strike on Sept. 1, giving their employers the 10 days notice required by law.
Following the announcement, Essentia Health—one of Minnesota's major health systems, comprising 17 hospitals—filed an unfair labor practice charge against the MNA with the National Labor Relations Board, demanding that nurses cancel their demonstration and to give hospitals an additional 30-day notice.