Minnesota nurses strike: Tentative agreement reached, averting planned strike

Tentative agreements have been reached between hospitals and the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA), likely averting a planned strike that was scheduled to begin on Dec. 11. 

The union said it has reached tentative agreements with hospital executives for new three-year contracts for 15,000 nurses in the Twin Cities and Twin Ports after nine months of negotiations. Nurses have been working since the summer without contracts, and had planned to begin an unfair labor practices strike on Dec. 11. The strike has now been called off.

However, one hospital has yet to settle: St. Luke's Lake View in Two Harbors. Negotiations are ongoing. The Minnesota Nurses Association says the hospital has 18 union nurses, and their contract expired Sept. 30. 

"This tentative agreement is a historic win for nurses and patients at the bedside," said Mary C. Turner, RN at North Memorial Hospital and President of the Minnesota Nurses Association. "For years, hospital executives have been pushing nurses out of the profession by under-staffing our units and under-valuing our nurses. This tentative agreement will help to keep nurses at the bedside, where we will keep fighting to oppose the corporate healthcare policies which threaten our hospital systems and the care our patients deserve."

The tentative agreement is still subject to ratification by MNA membership. If this deal is approved, the new contracts would address understaffing and an 18% pay increases over three years in the Twin Cities and 17% in the Twin Ports, an MNA news release says. 

RELATED: Minnesota Nurses Association authorizes another strike at 16 hospitals

In a statement, Allina Health said, "Allina Health is pleased with the settlement, which reflects the priorities of both parties and is fair and equitable to our employees, patients and communities. We are thankful to be able to return our full attention to caring for the community at this time of increased illness and demand."

Children's Minnesota also released a statement regarding the tentative agreement, saying:  "Children’s Minnesota is grateful to have reached a tentative agreement with the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA). As a condition of the agreement, the pending strike notice at Children’s Minnesota has been rescinded. The union must still ratify the deal. A vote is expected to happen this week. The union’s bargaining team is unanimously, favorably recommending this contract for ratification."

List of hospitals where nurses planned to strike

  • M Health Fairview Riverside
  • M Health Fairview Southdale
  • M Health Fairview St. Joseph's
  • M Health Fairview St. John's
  • Essentia Health St. Mary's Duluth
  • Essentia Health St. Mary's Superior
  • HealthPartners Methodist
  • Allina Health Abbott Northwestern
  • Allina Health Mercy
  • Allina Health United
  • Allina Health Unity
  • Children's Hospitals Minneapolis
  • Children's Hospital's St. Paul
  • North Memorial
  • St. Luke's Duluth
  • St. Luke's Lake View Two Harbors

Nurses say they're overworked, under-appreciated, and watching their colleagues leave the profession in droves.

This is a developing story.