15,000 nurses determined to win a fair contract to put patients before profits after historic strike  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Contact: Sam Fettig
(c) 612-741-0662
sam.fettig@mnnurses.org

Lauren Nielsen
(c) 651-376-9709
lauren.nielsen@mnnurses.org

WATCH: MNA Press Conference on Final Day of Strike

(St. Paul and Duluth) – September 15, 2022 – Today, 15,000 nurses with the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) returned to work after their historic three-day strike, believed to be the largest private-sector nurses’ strike in United States history. Throughout the strike at 15 hospitals in the Twin Cities and Twin Ports, an overwhelming number of nurses walked the picket line at each hospital, joined by patients, fellow workers, elected officials, and other community supporters.

“Out on the picket line this week, nurses built our collective power like never before,” said Mary C. Turner, RN at North Memorial Hospital and MNA President. “When our executives refuse to fully staff our hospitals and continue to push nurses out of the profession, that is a public health crisis. I hope the collective action of 15,000 nurses this week shows our CEOs that we are serious about solving this crisis – and I hope hospital executives will finally join us to work towards solutions. Nurses stand ready to return to the bargaining table next week to settle fair contracts to improve care and working conditions at the bedside.”

Nurses have been bargaining for six months over new contracts, seeking changes to address the crisis of understaffing and retention in our hospitals. There is no shortage of nurses in Minnesota, but deteriorating care and working conditions are driving more nurses to leave the bedside. Recent studies show that more than half of all nurses are considering leaving the profession while adverse events for patients are increasing.

“Corporate healthcare policies are devastating our communities, care at the bedside, and healthcare workers,” said Chris Rubesch, RN at Essentia Duluth and First Vice President of the Minnesota Nurses Association. “Hospital executives are closing facilities and charging patients more while taking home multi-million dollar salaries. This week, thousands of Duluth and Superior nurses joined nurses across the state to demand that hospital executives put the focus where it belongs in our hospitals: on patient care at the bedside, not the bottom line.”

In contract negotiations, MNA nurses are asking for a seat at the table when staffing decisions are made, to address under-staffing and overwork and to keep more nurses at the bedside. But in six months of negotiations, hospital executives with million-dollar salaries have refused to negotiate with nurses over solutions to the crises of short-staffing, retention and patient care. Contracts for nurses in the Twin Cities expired on May 31, and contracts for nurses in the Twin Ports expired on June 30, 2022.

As the three-day strike concludes, nurses stand ready to resume negotiations to win fair contracts to protect patient care and the nursing profession at the bedside. After hospital executives cancelled previously planned negotiation sessions this week, nurses look forward to working towards a fair contract as bargaining meetings are scheduled for the coming week. Hospital executives with million-dollar salaries can afford to make the changes necessary to protect care and working conditions at the bedside.

Hospitals where nurses went on strike this week are listed below.

HospitalSystem + CEOCEO CompensationPay Ratio to Avg. RN
RiversideM Health Fairview, CEO James Hereford$3.5M40 to 1
Southdale
St. Joseph’s
St. John’s
St. Mary’s DuluthEssentia Health,
CEO David Herman
$2.69M38 to 1
St. Mary’s Superior
MethodistHealthPartners,
CEO Andrea Walsh
$2.4M28 to 1
Abbott NorthwesternAllina Health,
CEO Lisa Shannon
$1.76M21 to 1
Mercy
United
Unity
Children’s MinneapolisChildren’s Hospitals,
CEO Mark Gorelick
$1.4M17 to 1
Children’s St. Paul
North MemorialNorth Memorial,
CEO J. Kevin Croston
$1.3M16 to 1
St. Luke’sSt. Luke’s,
Co-CEOs Eric Lohn and Nicholas Van Deelen
$700K+10 to 1

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5 Comments

  1. “an overwhelming number of nurses walked the picket line at each hospital”

    This is a false blanket statement. In Duluth and Superior, there was not “an overwhelming” number at all. In fact, it was slightly disappointing. More faces outside would have made a larger impact than the few that were seen.

  2. Good luck 🤞. So proud of you. You are an inspiration!!!!

  3. I stand with the Minnesota Nurses fighting to save the lives and wellbeing of their patients through acknowledging that their own health and safety and the integrity of nursing is central to that equation! Its time! Thank you for rising up and respecting the intellectual, physical and social labor of nursing essential for healing!

  4. I am praying for those leaders that Holy Spirit enlighten their hearts and mind to understand and felt the hard works we did and do for them. During the pandemic we put ourselves in the front for them we got sick and COVID while they are at home safe.

  5. Thank you Mary and locally Chris T and Chad M! I’m wondering if this including their total benefit packages and bonuses?

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