CNN

Massive health care strike: 15,000 Minnesota nurses walk off the job

Sep 12, 2022, 3:47 PM

Nurses at Children's Minnesota and United Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota, were among some 15,000 n...

Nurses at Children's Minnesota and United Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota, were among some 15,000 nurses at 16 hospitals in the Twin Cities and Twin Ports region who walked off the job on September 12. (MediaNews Group/St. Paul Pioneer Press/Getty Images)

(MediaNews Group/St. Paul Pioneer Press/Getty Images)

 (CNN) — About 15,000 nurses in Minnesota went on strike Monday morning, saying they are fighting for better staffing and better care for their patients.

The strike is against 13 hospitals in the Minneapolis-St. Paul market, as well as Duluth. It is scheduled to last only three days, and the union says the strike is not about pay but over letting members provide the quality of care they want to provide to patients.

“We are not on strike for our wages. We’re fighting for the ability to have some say over our profession and the work life balance,” said Mary Turner, a Covid ICU nurse and president of the Minnesota Nurses Association, the union waging the strike.

The union said it has negotiated with hospital executives for more than five months, and its members have worked without contracts for the last several months. Although Turner said the two sides have been moving closer to one another on wages, they are still far apart on economic terms and have made no progress on the union’s demands to solve short-staffing, retention and better patient care.

Spokespeople for management at the various hospitals can not afford to meet the nurses demands, and that they are doing what is needed to provide patients with uninterrupted care during the strike.

“Allina Health is focused on delivering safe, high-quality care throughout the duration of the Minnesota Nurses Association’s 3-day strike,” said a statement from Allina Health, which owns four of the hospitals now on strike. “A strike is not our desired outcome these negotiations, and Allina Health has been thoughtfully planning for months.”

 

‘It isn’t okay’

 

Some of the nurses on the picket lines also said they didn’t want to be on strike, but they felt that management’s position left them no choice.

“It hasn’t been good,” said Brandy Navarro, a nurse at United Hospital in St. Paul. She said she joined the picket line Monday after working the Sunday night shift.

“To not feel valued, it isn’t okay,” she said. “And people just don’t know how not okay things are. We are standing up for our patients and standing up for each other.”

There are no talks scheduled for the two sides during the next three days, according to Paul Omodt, spokesperson for the Twin Cities Hospital Group, which owns four of the hospitals on strike.

“Our focus is on our patients at this time,” he said about the lack of negotiations.

“Our hospitals will be staffed with experienced nurse managers and leaders, trained replacement nurses, and some existing traveller nurses,” he said. “People may experience longer wait times for services while care teams triage patients. We ask everyone for patience.”

The strike is just the latest example of a growing trend of unions going on strike, or threatening to go on strike, over work conditions rather than strictly over wage and benefit questions.

Unions representing about 57,000 workers who make up train crews at the nation’s freight railroads are threatening to go on strike as of Friday, in what could be the first national rail strike in 30 years. Such a strike could knock the legs out from under the still-struggling supply chain and serve another body blow to the US economy.

More than 2,000 mental health professionals are on strike against Kaiser Permanente in California and Hawaii. The union members there say inadequate staffing is depriving patients of care and preventing them from doing their jobs effectively. And teachers in Columbus, Ohio, went on strike at the start of the school year complaining about large class sizes and dilapidated schools where a lack of heating and air conditioning has created miserable classroom environments. The school district, the largest in Ohio, quickly settled.

Turner said the members voted to limit the strike to three days at this time. She said she hopes management will now be willing to negotiate on the staffing and work rules issues that led to the walk-out.

“This is what we’re going to do for right now. What’s next, I can’t say,” she said. “Hopefully they’ll come back for the table.”


The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

CNN

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a primary election night ...

Eric Bradner and Daniel Strauss, CNN

Trump wins all delegates at stake in Michigan GOP convention amid leadership battle

Former President Donald Trump won all 39 delegates at stake at a Michigan Republican convention Saturday, as officials there sought to move past a leadership battle that has split the state party into rival factions.

6 hours ago

A killer whale known as Starboard preys on a great white shark in June off the South African coast,...

 Katie Hunt, CNN

A lone orca slayed a great white in less than two minutes. Scientists say it could signal an ecological shift

A pair of orcas have been killing great whites along a stretch of South African coastline.

1 day ago

Kevin Monahan was convicted of second-degree murder, among other charges..
Mandatory Credit:	Lori V...

Ray Sanchez, CNN

New York man sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for killing woman when car turned in wrong driveway

Kevin Monahan was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for shooting and killing a woman who was a passenger in a car that turned in the wrong driveway.

2 days ago

The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced February 29 that Heritage Store Hydrogen Peroxide ...

John Towfighi, CNN

Mouthwash recalled nationwide over poisoning risk

One brand of hydrogen peroxide mouthwash is being recalled nationwide for posing a potential poisoning risk for children.

2 days ago

Protesters gathered outside the Alabama State House in Montgomery in the wake of the IVF ruling on ...

Devon M. Sayers, Shirin Faqiri and Eric Levenson, CNN

Alabama House and Senate approve bills aimed at protecting in vitro fertilization after personhood ruling

The Alabama House and Senate each passed bills Thursday aimed at protecting in vitro fertilization treatments .

2 days ago

Oprah Winfrey...

Jordan Valinsky, CNN

Oprah is leaving WeightWatchers, sending stock tumbling

Oprah Winfrey is leaving the board of WeightWatchers, ending a nearly decade-long stint as a director of the beleaguered company that has faced sudden competition from Ozempic.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Massive health care strike: 15,000 Minnesota nurses walk off the job