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Minnesota nurses to strike July 6

By Deb Konechne |
June 27, 2010
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Minneapolis, MN - 12,000 nurses are set to walk the picket lines in an open-ended strike on July 6, at 14 Minnesota hospitals. On June 22, nurses voted overwhelmingly to endorse an open-ended strike over staffing ratios and pension benefits. The Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) filed the legally required 10-day strike notice after day-long negotiations with the hospitals on June 24 proved futile.

A June 24 statement from the Minnesota Nurses Association notes, “Our nurses spent more than 13 hours today doing our best to stay hopeful about negotiations. Unfortunately, zero progress was made. Despite today’s setback, our nurses offered to return to the bargaining table again on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and every other day until a contract agreement can be reached. Instead, the Twin Cities Hospitals responded that the earliest they could meet would be sometime next week.”

The MNA statement continues “It has become beyond obvious to our nurses that the Twin Cities Hospitals, despite what they continue to say publicly, have no interest in meaningful or good faith negotiations. MNA had agreed not to file a 10-day strike notice if meaningful, productive negotiations were taking place. Since that is not the case, our nurses will be filing a formal 10-day strike notice tomorrow morning, June 25, 2010.”

On June 26, the MNA held a Picnic for Patient Safety, where hundreds of patients, politicians and nurses gathered to talk about unsafe staffing and its impact on nurses, patients and their families. Twin Cities nurses file more than 1200 unsafe staffing forms each year and have been seeking solutions to the staffing issues since the 1990s.

The next negotiation meeting will take place on June 29, which is the only day the hospitals would agree to. The MNA will hold strike preparation meetings on June 30.

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