Allina nurses vote for open-ended strike, reject latest offer

- The Minnesota Nurses Association voted to call for a second strike on Allina Health and reject Allina's latest offer on a new 3-year contract. But unlike their 7-day strike in June – this strike would be open ended.

Nearly 5,000 nurses from 5 metro hospitals are voted on Allina’s latest proposal Thursday.

“I think nurses are upset and angry, it’s still August and we are doing this,” said Angela Becchetti.

Bechetti, a registered nurse, is part of the union negotiating team that advised members to vote no on the latest Allina proposal.

The main sticking points continue to be health care and work place safety. Nurses want increased safety training and workplace protection along with the ability to keep the health care plan in their current agreement.

"Nurses know they might be out of a job for a while," Becchetti said in the press release.  "They are prepared, and the communications that they've had with Allina since the last strike have only made the nurses more angry and more resolved to fight for a fair contract."

Allina, meanwhile, wants to move nurses to a new plan that would save them an estimated $10 million a year.

Nurses on the negotiating committee will start planning for an open-ended strike. However, the committee expects there will be another meeting at the bargaining table with Allina Health.

Allina officials released the following statement on Thursday:

"We hope that today all of our nurses will take the opportunity to make their voices heard. Allina Health has a fair compromise offer on the table that preserves choice for our nurses by retaining the two most popular nurse-only insurance plans. It's disappointing that union leadership is focusing on strikes rather than solutions instead of accepting our compromise, but whatever the outcome of today's vote, our first priority will continue to be providing high quality care to our communities."

Allina Health operates Abbott Northwestern, Phillips Eye Institute, Mercy, United and Unity hospitals.

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