Nurses reach tentative agreements on three-year contracts to retain nurses at the bedside, avert planned 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

Tentative agreements include unprecedented new language to address chronic understaffing in our hospitals

Tentative agreements include historic 18 percent pay increase over three years in Twin Cities, 17 percent in Twin Ports

Planned unfair labor practices strike set to begin Sunday has been called off as nurses plan vote on tentative agreements 

(St. Paul and Duluth) – December 6, 2022 – Nurse negotiation leaders with the Minnesota Nurses Association today announced that they have reached tentative agreements with hospital executives for new three-year contracts for 15,000 nurses in the Twin Cities and Twin Ports. Nurses have been negotiating for nine months, and have been working without contracts since June for Twin Cities nurses and since July for nurses in the Twin Ports. The unfair labor practices strike planned to begin this Sunday, December 11, 2022 has been called off as nurses prepare to vote on the tentative agreements. Nurse negotiation leaders are recommending members vote yes to accept the contract agreements at the 15 Twin Cities and Twin Ports hospitals where nurses had planned to strike, which include those run by Children’s Minnesota, North Memorial, Allina Health, M Health Fairview, HealthPartners, Essentia Health, and St. Luke’s.

“This tentative agreement is a historic win for nurses and patients at the bedside,” said Mary C. Turner, RN at North Memorial Hospital and President of the Minnesota Nurses Association. “For years, hospital executives have been pushing nurses out of the profession by under-staffing our units and under-valuing our nurses. This tentative agreement will help to keep nurses at the bedside, where we will keep fighting to oppose the corporate healthcare policies which threaten our hospital systems and the care our patients deserve.”

If approved by nurse members, the new contracts would include unprecedented language won by MNA nurses to address chronic understaffing in our hospitals for the first time in history. For decades, MNA nurses have fought for contract language and legislation to ensure safe staffing at the bedside, while hospital executives denied the problem and insisted on the status quo. Staffing changes won by MNA nurses in the tentative agreements will give nurses a say in how staffing levels are set and to ensure changes to staffing levels benefit nurses and patients at the bedside. Staffing changes won by nurses vary by each tentative agreement, including language to: prevent reductions in staffing levels without consensus between nurses and management; help protect nurses from discipline when they raise concerns about unsafe assignments; and to trigger reviews of staffing levels by nurses and management in response to key measures of patient and nurse wellbeing and outcomes.

“For nine long months in these negotiations, nurses have insisted that workers and patients deserve better in our hospitals,” said Chris Rubesch, RN at Essentia in Duluth and First Vice President of the Minnesota Nurses Association. “This tentative agreement is a critical step to address the chronic short-staffing and other corporate healthcare policies hurting patients and nurses at the bedside. With new staffing language and fair wage increases, nurses are empowered to continue the fight to protect care in our communities.”

In addition to the staffing language won by nurses, the tentative agreements for new contracts include historic pay raises of 18 percent over three years for nurses in the Twin Cities, and 17 percent for nurses in the Twin Ports, with pay retroactive to the previous contract’s expiration. These wage increases represent the largest won by MNA nurses in over two decades. In the Twin Cities, these wage increases include 7 percent in the first year of the contract, 6 percent in the second year, and 5 percent in the third year; in the Twin Ports the tentative agreements include 7 percent in the first year of the contract, 6 percent in the second year, and 4 percent in the third year.

Nurses also won increases in pay for preceptors – those helping to train in new nurses – and for charge nurses – who help to coordinate the work of other nurses on a shift. Together with the staffing language won, these wage increases will help to retain nurses at the bedside at a time when over half of all nurses are considering leaving bedside nursing due to chronic understaffing and poor management by hospital executives. Along with improved wages and staffing language, several tentative agreements include additional gains including workplace safety protections.

Whatever the outcome of nurses’ vote on these tentative agreements, nurses remain committed to continuing the fight to oppose the corporate healthcare practices that have understaffed our hospitals for years and that threaten to put profits before patients in our hospitals. Nurses are fighting against corporate healthcare mergers and monopolies that threaten choice, access, and affordability of healthcare for Minnesotans, and will continue the fight for safe staffing levels at the Minnesota Legislature next session.

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5 Comments

  1. Thank you MNA contract negotiators for all your long hours and hard work to get this accomplished for all of us.
    Much appreciated and respected !!

  2. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS K YOU for standing together and standing strong!!! You’re leading the way for Unions across the Nation!!!

  3. Well done. This is the positive path needed to increase care & safety for patients and staff. I look forward to see the voting results and hope the younger nurses will appreciate the years of hard work and sacrifice MNA nurses have endured to get to this point

  4. I am a 40 year plus nurse. I walked away from the bedside 20 years ago, due to the same issues. My daughter, my sister and several nieces are RNs. I am so proud of you all, that you stuck to your plan and didn’t allow the belittling by the Administrators to sway you. That you are standing up for each other and our patients. Bravo.

  5. How does this affect CNA’s? They aren’t mentioned. They work extremely hard and take care of a lot.

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