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15K nurses on strike across 7 health systems in Minnesota

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Some 15,000 nurses in Minnesota will start a three-day strike Monday in what’s believed to be the most important private-sector nurses’ strike in U.S. historical past, in accordance with a launch from the union representing them, the Minnesota Nurses Affiliation.

The nurses work at 16 hospitals throughout the state owned by seven totally different well being programs: M Well being Fairview, Essentia Well being, HealthPartners, Allina Well being, Youngsters’s Hospital, North Memorial and St. Luke’s.

They’ve been in negotiations for brand new contracts since March, and like many different nurses throughout the nation need measures to assist treatment staffing shortages and retention issues worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread burnout.

With 1000’s of nurses out picketing till Thursday, the well being programs have created contingency plans and employed alternative workers to maintain operations afloat.

Twins Cities Hospitals Group, which incorporates Methodist, North Memorial, Youngsters’s and Fairview hospitals, stands to incur greater than $20 million a day in additional prices at some stage in the three-day strike, in accordance with an e-mail assertion.

Relying on specialty, journey alternative nurses through the strike stand to make $7,980 to $10,640 for a 60-hour work week with journey and housing prices supplied, in accordance with a submit from journey staffing agency Medical Staffing Options.

Journey nurses performing as alternative workers amid strikes are “sometimes paid among the many trade’s highest charges because of the project’s depth and the elevated ability stage required to workers a strike,” Jason Kohl, senior vp of one other staffing agency, U.S. Nursing, mentioned in an e-mail.

In the end, about half of all of the labor disputes that U.S. Nursing helps workers find yourself being resolved earlier than any care is disrupted, Kohl mentioned.

Whereas staffing issues are a key level in negotiations in Minnesota, larger wages are additionally vital asks from nurses in new contracts.

In negotiations, nurses have requested for raises of greater than 30% over the course of three years, in accordance with a press release from the Twin Cities Hospitals Group.

The hospitals have pushed again, saying nurses who work full-time at Methodist, North Memorial, Youngsters’s and Fairview hospitals often earn $100,000 or extra a yr, in accordance with the assertion.

The hospitals have proposed will increase of greater than 10% over the course of a three-year contract, and mentioned within the assertion “these are the most important will increase in additional than a decade.”

By negotiations, nurses have additionally highlighted the nonprofit standing of their hospitals, launching an promoting marketing campaign in a bid to “put affected person care earlier than income,” in accordance with the MNA.

Solely two hospitals in Minnesota are for-profit, whereas the remaining are nonprofit or community-owned, in accordance with the state’s hospital affiliation.

The union is arguing that the nonprofit hospitals function like for-profits hospitals with “sufferers overcharged by hospital executives attempting to spice up their backside strains.”

“Company healthcare insurance policies in our hospitals have left nurses understaffed and overworked, whereas sufferers are overcharged, native hospitals and companies are closed, and executives take house million-dollar paychecks,” Chris Rubesch, a registered nurse at Essentia in Duluth and MNA vp, mentioned in a union assertion.

“Nurses have one precedence in our hospitals, to maintain our sufferers, and we’re decided to struggle for truthful contracts so nurses can keep on the bedside to offer the standard care our sufferers deserve,” Rubesch mentioned.

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