Minnesota hospital groups and members of the Minnesota Nurses Association have reached contract agreements just days before about 15,000 nurses were set to begin a three-week strike.
Allina health, one of the health systems where nurses planned a walk out, announced early Tuesday they’d reached tentative agreements with nurses at Abbott Northwestern, United Hospital in St. Paul and both Mercy hospital campuses. Allina noted that the strike notices had been rescinded as nurses decide whether to approve the deal.
“Allina Health is pleased with the settlement, which reflects the priorities of both parties and is fair and equitable to our employees, patients and communities,” a statement said. “We are thankful to be able to return our full attention to caring for the community at this time of increased illness and demand.”
A spokesman for the Minnesota Hospital Group, which represents Children’s, North Memorial, Methodist, and M Health Fairview, said it also had tentative agreements in place to advert a strike. The group noted that the deal included up to 18 percent in pay increases over the three year deal.
In the Duluth area, both St. Luke’s and Essentia Health said they have reached tentative agreements.
“This tentative agreement is a historic win for nurses and patients at the bedside,” Mary C. Turner, a nurse at North Memorial Hospital and president of the Minnesota Nurses Association. “This tentative agreement will help to keep nurses at the bedside, where we will keep fighting to oppose the corporate healthcare policies which threaten our hospital systems and the care our patients deserve.”
Nurses announced Dec. 1 they planned a three-week strike starting Saturday if they could not reach agreements on new contracts. They’ve been negotiating with hospital leaders since March and held a three-day strike in September.
Nurses say their profession is in crises and they need improved pay, more staff and better safety protections. Hospital officials had argued their demands were too expensive and unrealistic.
This story is developing and will be updated.
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