WestHealth emergency room reopening as nurses end strike in Plymouth

After a three-day strike, the emergency room at Allina WestHealth in Plymouth will reopen, despite no deal being reached.

The planned three-day strike shut down that emergency room and urgent care since Sunday, as around 50 nurses picketed outside.

Union leaders said they had been working for a year and a half to reach a new contract with Allina Health. But after seven meetings, the two sides still haven't put pen to paper.

The strike will officially end at 7 a.m., meaning the emergency room and urgent care will reopen at that time.

The primary issue is summer holiday pay for Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day. The nurses say they don't get any extra pay for working those holidays unless they pull cash from their earned paid time off. They are asking for time and a half for those days.

"You're making us work this holiday, but you're not willing to give the standard in the industry which is time and a half," argued WestHealth registered nurse Sonya Worner. "I believe if you would take a poll people would say yeah, people should get paid time and a half on benefits instead of having to pay themselves."

The nurses are also asking for double-time at Christmas. That holiday is currently at time and a half. They say they just want to be in line with other contracts in the area when it comes to holidays.

Allina did not want to respond specifically to the holiday pay issue and referred us to their statement released on Monday.

It said in part, "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."

As the strike ends, there is no word on if or when there will be additional talks between the two sides.