Minnesota nurses approve new contracts, avert second strike over staffing and wages

New contract agreements have officially been accepted between the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) and more than a dozen hospitals throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin, averting a second strike over a dispute that sought to put "patients over profits" – increasing staffing levels and wages in the process.

"This new contract is a lifeline and a ray of hope," said MNA president Mary C. Turner Wednesday at a press conference, noting that nurses overwhelmingly voted in favor of the new deals. "We have been clear our number one priority was to address staffing to ensure patient care, but for nine months executives insisted they would not negotiate on staffing… It wasn't until the second strike vote that they started to seriously discuss staffing."

According to Turner, due to nurses' tenacity, "they won unprecedented language to protect staffing levels from this day forward."

On Dec. 6, the MNA 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. Prior to that, nurses had been working since the summer without contracts, and had planned to begin an unfair labor practices strike on Dec. 11, following a three-day strike held in September

The new contracts address understaffing issues persistent in hospitals, and an 18% pay increase over three years in the Twin Cities – 17% in the Twin Ports, according to a news release provided by MNA.


The following is a list of hospitals at which nurses were set to strike on Dec. 11.

  • 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