Union nurses will begin an indefinite strike against Allina Health Hopsitals starting on Labor Day, the Minnesota Nurses Association announced in a release.
Nurses represented by the MNA filed a 10-day notice of intent to strike with Allina Health Friday morning, which will begin an open-ended strike.
“Nurses sent a message to Allina again last week with an overwhelming vote to reject the employer’s latest offer and authorize a strike,” said MNA Executive Director Rose Roach. “Nurses are exercising the voice they have, and as of 6 a.m. this morning, nurses filed a 10-day intent to strike notice with Allina Health.”
Nurses held a press conference at the Labor Pavilion at the Minnesota State Fair on Friday to announce the strike details and were flanked by several other union leaders and representatives.
Picketing will take place around Abbott Northwestern, Mercy, Phillips Eye Institute, United and Unity hospitals as well as Allina’s headquarters starting at 7 a.m. on Sept. 5.
What are they striking for?
The big sticking point in the contract impasse is health insurance. Allina wants to transition nurses off of their union-backed health plan onto the insurance coverage other company employees have. Allina says the costs of the nurses’ current coverage are not sustainable for the company.
Nurses say they’ve tried to meet Allina half way by agreeing to end two of their four current plans and pay higher deductibles. The union also wants staffing changes they say would improve patient care and wants training to deal with workplace violence.
The latest round of negotiations between nurses and Allina Health ended on Thursday with no agreement.
A week-long strike in June cost Allina $20.4 million in expenses, Becker’s Hospital CFO said. An indefinite strike could end up being much more costly.