Allina Health nurses plan weeklong strike starting June 19

After rejecting the latest contract offer from Allina Health, more than 5,000 nurses from five metro Allina Hospitals are now planning a seven-day strike beginning June 19 if a new deal is not reached.

Nurses from the Minnesota Nurses Association notified Allina health executives on Wednesday of their intent to strike. Nurses from Abbott Northwestern, Phillips Eye Institute, Mercy, United and Unity hospitals plan to strike from 7 p.m. on June 19 to 7 a.m. on June 26.

One of the main points of contention is Allina’s demand that nurses move from their union health insurance plan to its corporate plan, which covers 30,000 other employees and would result in lower monthly premiums, but higher potential out-of-pocket costs.

Allina has previously said moving nurses to its corporate plan would save $10 million a year in overall healthcare costs.

MORE DETAILS - 5,000 Twin Cities nurses reject contract, authorize strike

However, MNA says the impending strike is about more than health insurance.

“Nurses are prepared to send a week-long message to Allina,” MNDA said in a statement. “This contract is about more than just health insurance. It’s about the staffing our patients receive. It’s about the safety of our fellow nurses from assault. It’s about the care our families depend on.”

Allina Health statement

We are very disappointed and disheartened that the union is striking over Allina Health’s proposal to transition our valued nurses the same comprehensive and affordable health plan options we provide to more than 30,000 employees and family members. The proposal we offered our nurses also included wage increases that maintain their competitive salaries as well as provisions that address the union’s interests in staffing and workplace safety.

A strike benefits nobody and we believe there is still time to avoid one. We anticipate we will return to the bargaining table and we’re prepared to negotiate in good faith and collaborate with the union on a health plan transition and other mutually beneficial issues.

If the union proceeds with their strike, please be assured that Allina Health’s metro-area hospitals (Abbott Northwestern, Mercy, United and Unity) will remain open, providing excellent care with highly skilled, experienced nurses partnering with our other outstanding caregivers.