Allina nurses return to work after 7-day strike

- Nurses in the metro area headed back to work Sunday after a seven-day strike against five Allina Health hospitals that started on June 19.

Last Sunday, about 4,800 nurses from the Minnesota Nurses Association began picketing outside Abbott Northwestern, Phillips Eye Institute, Mercy, United and Unity hospitals, all operated by Allina Health.

The strike started after Allina and its nurses failed to come to an agreement over a new three-year contract. One of the major points of contention is a possible change to nurses’ health insurance.

Allina hired more than 1,000 replacement nurses to work during the strike.

Picketing ended early Sunday morning and the nurses took their jobs back around 7 a.m. However, there is still no agreement with management and no word on when any new talks are planned.

“I don’t know what we’re walking into,” Angela Becchetti, one of the striking nurses, told Fox 9. “[I] hope we have a contract soon.”

At a press conference Sunday afternoon, President and CEO of Allina Health Dr. Penny Wheeler, shared her opinion on the strike.

"In terms of the negotiations, I don't think a strike helps anybody, frankly," said Wheeler.

READ THIS - Allina nurses start strike in Twin Cities

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