Allina Health Cancer Institute nurses vote overwhelmingly for union with MNA


Contact: Sam Fettig
(c) 612-741-0662

Lauren Bloomquist
(c) 651-376-9709

Nurses seek a seat at the table amid corporate healthcare closures, to protect care and working conditions for nurses and patients  

[WATCH] Newly organized nurses held a livestream today to celebrate their union vote. Watch here. (St. Paul) – February 29, 2024 – Nurses employed at the Allina Health Cancer Institute (AHCI) Wednesday celebrated the overwhelming vote of nurses there to join together in a union, represented by the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA). The nurses employed by AHCI at Mercy Specialty Center in Coon Rapids, Abbott Northwestern in Minneapolis, and United Medical Specialty Center in St. Paul filed for election in late January and cast their ballots yesterday. “With this election, we fought for patient safety. With Allina’s budget cuts, it feels like the focus has been taken off patient care and onto changes that help Allina financially,” said Nicole Novak, RN, AHCI Oncology Infusion. “By becoming part of the union, we gave ourselves a voice and a chair at the table to fight for safe and established policies and procedures before these changes happen.” Nurses at AHCI saw the need to unionize after Allina executives closed the inpatient infusion center at Abbott Northwestern, routing patients with complex care needs – including pregnant patients – to AHCI oncology infusion nurses without offering additional guidance, training, or equipment. After being told that they would be “building the plane as we fly it,” ACHI nurses decided to unionize to protect care and working conditions for patients and nurses. With collective representation and a seat at the table, AHCI nurses will work to address the impacts of corporate closures as well as fair scheduling and short staffing. “We look forward to moving into negotiations to ensure a safe patient care environment, for accountability from Allina, a healthy work-life balance for all our nurses, and to have our voices heard,” said Lisa Fox, RN, AHCI Oncology Infusion. The new MNA member nurses at AHCI join thousands of fellow union nurses at other Allina Health facilities as part of the 22,000 MNA members in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Iowa. It is more important than ever for Allina nurses to organize to defend patient care and working conditions, as the health system under CEO Lisa Shannon has pursued a course of corporate closures and cuts including the recently announced shuttering of essential care services at Mercy Hospital and Unity Campus. While making drastic cuts that fall on patients and nurses at the bedside, Shannon took more than half a million dollars in bonus and incentive pay in 2022, as part of her total compensation of $2.6 million. The successful organizing by nurses at AHCI joins other efforts by nurses to organize together for collective representation. Last fall, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) nurses working at facilities across Allina Health organized for representation with MNA. Earlier this month, nurses at Essentia Health-Duluth Clinic 1st Street voted overwhelmingly to unionize, and nurses at Essentia Health-Duluth Clinic 2nd Street and Essentia East Market Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) are also currently working to organize for collective representation with MNA.


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