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Nurses start 3-day strike at Allina WestHealth in Plymouth

A "last attempt" at negotiations failed to produce an agreement last Wednesday.

The nurses at Abbott Northwestern-WestHealth in Plymouth are officially on the picket line. 

The strike, backed by the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA), began Sunday morning and is set to run through Wednesday. 

Nurses at the Plymouth hospital, which is operated by Allina Health, are seeking a new contract that "provides fair pay and benefits to nurses on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic," a news release says.

This comes after "a last attempt" at negotiations last Wednesday failed to produce an agreement.  

Per MNA, they've been in negotiations with Allina since May, but the healthcare giant "has refused to agree to fair pay for holiday work or adequate benefits."

"Compensating nurses fairly for holiday work is especially critical because understaffing by Allina and other hospital systems has required nurses to work more days and longer hours, including overtime and holidays, as they continue on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic," MNA says. 

The organization states that "an overwhelming majority of member nurses at WestHealth" voted to authorize the strike earlier this month. The nurses will be on the picket line from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day of the strike.

Per the Star Tribune, Allina Health says that it had previously reached a contract agreement with the nurses that was "unanimously recommended by the union's bargaining team," but "the union could not finalize that agreement."

In the statement, the company also said it has "consistently offered proposals that demonstrate our commitment to our employees, including an immediate wage increase to align wages with other metro hospitals," the Tribune notes. 

 

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