Allina's WestHealth ER, urgent care in Plymouth to close during nurses strike

The urgent care and emergency department at Allina Health's WestHealth campus in Plymouth, Minnesota will be closed starting 5 a.m. Sunday until 7 a.m. Wednesday as union nurses go on a three-day strike for fair pay and benefits.

WestHealth announced the temporary closure Saturday on its Facebook page and website. It cites a "work stoppage" as its reason and recommends using Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis for emergency care and referring to this website to find alternative in-person or virtual options.

The city of Plymouth released a list of nearby locations for emergency services and urgent care needs to residents "for the sake of public safety and emergency preparedness." 

Urgent Care Facilities

  • Park Nicollet Urgent Care – 4155 County Road 101 N., Plymouth
  • North Memorial Health Urgent Care – 9855 Hospital Drive, Maple Grove
  • North Memorial Health Urgency Center – 15450 Highway 7, Minnetonka

Emergency Rooms

  • Maple Grove Hospital Emergency Room – 9875 Hospital Drive, Maple Grove
  • Methodist Hospital Emergency Center – 6500 Excelsior Blvd., St. Louis Park
  • North Memorial Health Hospital – 3300 Oakdale Ave. N., Robbinsdale

Nurse members of the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) at WestHealth announced Thursday that they will be on strike from 7 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 17 to 7 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20. The union says MNA nurses have been negotiating a new contract since May, but Allina "has refused to agree to fair pay for holiday work or adequate benefits."

"Compensating nurses fairly for holiday work is especially critical because understaffing by Allina and other hospital systems has required nurses to work more days and longer hours, including overtime and holidays, as they continue on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic," MNA wrote in the statement. "At a time when Minnesotans need emergency care the most, Allina Health would rather leave patients waiting than grant nurses holiday pay and benefits comparable to other Emergency Departments."

Nurses in the union will be on the picket line from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Allina's WestHealth campus in Plymouth beginning Sunday.

Allina Health has released the following statement regarding the strike:

Allina Health is disappointed to have received a strike notice from the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) for the approximately 50 nurses who work in Abbott Northwestern WestHealth’s Emergency Department and Urgent Care facilities. We previously reached a contract settlement that was unanimously recommended by the union’s bargaining team. Unfortunately, the union could not finalize that agreement. 

Allina Health and Abbott Northwestern WestHealth have negotiated 7 times with MNA. Throughout negotiations we have consistently offered proposals that demonstrate our commitment to our employees, including an immediate wage increase to align wages with other metro hospitals and agreeing to some of the union’s other priority issues.

Allina Health’s priority is providing high quality care to the community. At a time when hospitals are under significant pressure throughout the state and country due to sustained high volumes from COVID-19 and other acute illness, a work stoppage benefits no one. It is our preference to reach an agreement on a new contract that prioritizes the health needs of the community and sustainably recognizes the contributions of our employees.