15,000 Minnesota Nurses to Hold One Day Strike
On Wednesday, June 1st, nurses at 11 Twin Cities hospitals will hold a one-day, all-day informational strike. Over 15,000 nurses at hospitals in Twin Cities and Twin Ports are seeking new contracts.
“Our healthcare system is in critical condition. Hospital executives with million-dollar salaries have created a staffing and retention crisis which is pushing nurses away from the bedside,” said Mary C. Turner, RN, President of the Minnesota Nurses Association. “The future of our healthcare system depends on the choices we make now. Nurses are ready to fight and win for our patients and our practice. I hope the public will stand with us in our fight to put patients before profits in our hospitals.”
As with most nurses in the country, Minnesota nurses are overworked, underpaid, and understaffed. Hospitals continue to put monetary profits and hospital optics over the well-being of patients and staff. Nurses want to change this in their new contract to be more favorable for them but also the patients they care for.
Current contracts for nurses in the Twin Cities will expire today, May 31, 2022, the day before the informational picket while contracts for Twin Ports nurses will expire on June 30, 2022.
The Minnesota Nurses Union is hoping that a large number of nurses will participate in the one-day informational strike - they did make it very clear that this is not a work stoppage. Rather, it is “encourage the public to join them to call on hospital CEOs to put patients before profits and to approve fair contracts that address the critical issues workers and patients face in our hospitals.”
Only two hospitals in Minnesota are for-profit, while the rest are nonprofit or community-owned, according to the state’s hospital association. This is actually important Because part of contract negotiations involves launching a state-wide campaign highlighting the overcharging of patients by non-profit hospitals. The union is arguing that nonprofit hospitals operate almost the same as for-profits with “patients overcharged by hospital executives trying to boost their bottom lines,” the union said.
Nurses also are lobbying for the ”Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act” passed, which would require hospitals to create nurse staffing committees. Those committees would decide the maximum number of patients a nurse can care for, effectively establishing nurse-to-patient ratios
Minnesota’s nurses are just another group in a long list of nursing unions that have recently held strikes. The strike at Saint Vincent’s Hospital was over eight months and is the longest recorded nursing strike in history. In April 2022, 8,000 Sutter Health nurses led a strike over unsafe nursing practices and expired contracts. However, the most notable recent strike was Kaiser Permanente nurses that walked out after contract negotiations failed and were told their benefits would be cut as a result. Local and state-level government officials even showed their support for nurses and expressed strong desires for negotiations to restart.
Information about the Strike
- DETAILS: WED, JUNE 1 – METRO-WIDE INFORMATIONAL PICKET
Nurses at eleven different hospitals throughout the Twin Cities metro area will be holding informational pickets at different times throughout the day on Wednesday, June 1, 2022. To make plans to visit nurses on the picket line, please contact Sam.Fettig@mnnurses.org to confirm times and locations.
- When: Wednesday, June 1, 2022, 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (see the note above on timing)
- Where: Hospitals owned by Allina Health, M Health Fairview, Children’s Hospitals, North Memorial, and HealthPartners throughout the Twin Cities
- Who: Minnesota nurses bargaining for new contracts
- What: Informational picket to encourage the public to stand with nurses
- Why: To call on CEOs to put patients before profits and to approve fair contracts for nurses
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