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Tentative agreements have been reached between the Minnesota Nurses Association and most of the Twin Cities and Duluth hospitals with which it was negotiating ahead of a planned strike next week.

Spokespersons from Allina Health, Twin Cities Hospitals Group, Essentia Health, St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth, and the Minnesota Nurses Association have confirmed to Bring Me The News they reached tentative contract deals overnight.

A spokesperson with Twin Cities Hospital Group said that all five hospitals within the group — Children's Minnesota, North Memorial, Methodist and M Health Fairview — are in agreement with the MNA. 

Essentia Health also confirmed that its two hospitals in Duluth and Superior, Wisconsin have also reached tentative agreements.

Negotiations were actively ongoing at St. Luke's Lake View hospital in Two Harbors at the time of publishing.

"Lake View and our hospital staff nurses represented by the MNA have completed two mutually agreed upon negotiation sessions after the previous collective bargaining agreement expired on September 30, 2022. We have multiple bargaining sessions scheduled in December, with the next session set for Friday, December 9," a spokesperson for Lake View hospital said in a statement.

If approved, the deal would avoid a strike set to begin on Dec. 11. Twin Cities hospitals were planning a strike for 20 days and Duluth and Two Harbors hospitals had no end date set.

The strike was authorized on Thursday after union and hospital representatives couldn't reach an agreement on contracts and work conditions.

The Twin Cities Hospital Group said the agreement struck by its hospitals includes a 18% wage increase for nurses over a three-year period. The union had lowered its demands to 20% over three years, while hospital executives had long pressed for raises of around 10-12%.

Hospitals in the Twin Ports area agreed to a 17% wage increase over a three-year period, according to the MNA.

Nurses and hospital executives also agreed to various staffing changes that differ with each hospital. Some of the changes include:

  • Prevent reductions in staffing levels without consensus between nurses and management.
  • Help protect nurses from discipline when they raise concerns about unsafe assignments.
  • Trigger reviews of staffing levels by nurses and management in response to key measures of patient and nurse wellbeing and outcomes.

St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth issued the following statement to Bring Me The News:

"We are pleased to announce that St. Luke’s and MNA reached a tentative contract agreement. MNA has withdrawn its strike notice and will bring the contract to nurses for ratification in the near future. We want to thank all who have worked so diligently at the table to reach a fair and equitable contract."

Allina Health, which represents Abbott Northwestern, United Hospital and both Mercy Hospital campuses, issued the following statement:

"We are pleased to announce that Allina Health and Minnesota Nurses Association reached a tentative agreement early this morning. The settlement, which the union is recommending, is now subject to ratification by union membership. MNA has rescinded all strike notices at Abbott Northwestern, United (St. Paul campus) and Mercy (both campuses) hospitals.

"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. We are thankful to be able to return our full attention to caring for the community at this time of increased illness and demand."

MNA President Mary Turner called the agreement "a historic win."

“This tentative agreement is a historic win for nurses and patients at the bedside,” said Turner. “For years, hospital executives have been pushing nurses out of the profession by under-staffing our units and under-valuing our nurses. 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.”

This is a developing story. Bring Me The News will update with more information as it is learned.

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