Press Release: MNA nurses tell Allina Health strike begins June 19

Contact: Rick Fuentes

(o) 651-414-2863
(c) 612-741-0662

Barbara Brady
(o) 651-414-2849
(c) 651-202-0845

(St. Paul) – June 8, 2016 – Today the Minnesota Nurses Association delivered the 10-day Notice of Intent to Strike to Allina Health executives. MNA Nurses at all five metro Allina hospitals will strike for seven days starting at 7 a.m. on Sunday, June 19, 2016 to 7 a.m. Sunday, June 26, 2016. This strike involves approximately 5,000 nurses at Abbott Northwestern, Phillips Eye Institute, Mercy, United, and Unity.

“We hope this action sends a clear-cut message to Allina what we think of their May 31 offer,” said Angela Becchetti, RN at Abbott Northwestern hospital.

Nurses informed the leadership of the five hospitals of MNA’s intent to engage in an unfair labor practice strike. Nurses have protested Allina’s unwillingness to respond to their proposals on workplace violence and staffing issues as well as provide needed information necessary to counter the employer’s proposal to eliminate nurses’ affordable health plans.

“We hope that Dr. Penny Wheeler of Allina Health understands that the values that she believes are being maintained during this bargaining process are not being followed by Allina Health negotiators,” Becchetti said.

The contract for 5,000 nurses negotiating with Allina Health expired on May 31, but the employer left the bargaining table last week and refused to talk further about important issues to reach an agreement. Allina Health negotiators responded with a “complete offer” and told nurses they would not continue to negotiate.

Under the National Labor Relations Act, union members can engage in an unfair labor practice strike without fear of retaliation. The nurses’ employment is protected under federal law.

Nurses at all five hospitals voted by overwhelming majority to reject the contract offer and tell Allina to return to the bargaining table. Nurses at all five hospitals also voted by more than a 66 percent super majority to reject the contract and authorize the negotiating committee to call a strike.

“Nurses are prepared to send a week-long message to Allina,” Becchetti said. “This contract is about more than just health insurance. It’s about the staffing our patients receive. It’s about the safety of our fellow nurses from assault. It’s about the care our families depend on.”


  1. From recent news reports it appears that MNA would consider eliminating the MNA health plan in exchange for concessions from Allina on staffing. It would be better to propose modifying the MNA plan to make it more acceptable to employers rather than eliminating it. Improvements in staffing may be short-lived. The loss of the MNA plan would likely be permanent, and nurses would no longer have it as a backup plan. Health care is constantly changing and there is no guarantee that employers will provide health insurance as a benefit in the future. Nurses should preserve their own plan for their future health insurance security.

  2. I received a heartfelt letter and pictures from a member who is striking over health benefits. I am not sure how she was able get my contact information. I will be a replacement during the strike. Please note that this is not political and it is not anti-union. In the south the pay is horrible. The benefits are worse than the pay and we have no unions. The nurse patient ratios are very high and getting worse and managers will fire you on the spot for speaking up, patient complaints or any other action as they see appropriate. I trace all the time opting to go to areas that are union to work in safe, tolerable conditions. This is about the money and heaven knows it is needed. Please don’t place us in the same mindset as the Board taking away your benefits. None of us are wishing that for any of you.

  3. As a traveling RN I look forward to standing in for you during the strike. For over 25 years I’ve experienced a variety of changes in nursing. Your fight sounds like a legitimate one and I hope that you win it. For me it’s more than about making money. It’s about giving you the opportunity to be heard and supporting your community while you do.

    I’ve been called a “Scab” and a number of things I won’t repeat here. I have memories, during a job action, of a gentleman who had a heart attack while on the picket line. He was rushed into the ED where competent caring professionals saved his life. I remember a nurse who crossed the picket line to visit her sister who was in labor. She expressed her gratitude to the nurses who cared for her sister and the new baby. She confessed that her anger toward “replacement nurses” was misguided. It’s vital that nurses are available 24/7 and she was grateful for that.

    Again, I wish all of my fellow nurses well in their efforts to effect positive change and peaceful resolution. During my brief time in your facility,should you or your family members need experienced nursing care, I’m glad to give you my best.

  4. I feel for the urses. Im a disabled IRAQ vet who finaly found tumor in my back because of a persistent nurse who helped me deal with my ptsd while being in an MRI. I have ti use my MEDICARE because the VA ays to imagine my pain away…A nurse really saved my life
    Ok,,yes,,the rest of us dont have the health dre help they get from their Union,,,,and Im going roke to surrvive,,but I need my nurss healthy to help me…COME ON GOVERNOR DAYTON. STEP UP ,,GET INVOLVED AND GET THEM WHAT THEY DESERVE. Thank you to all the nurses who stack the deck in my favor,,realize my pain is real,,and gave me hope to not give up on my life. I will never foget your kindness and love. ALLINA,,,GET OF YA HIGH HORSE AND GIVE THEM EHT HEY ESREVE.

  5. For those crossing the picket line as replacements, while you think your intentions may be honorable, you are strengthening the hand of Allina management and weakening that of nurses at the bargaining table. MNA is desperately trying to hold the line against unfair labor practices and not go backwards, in the profession. What MNA can do is set a standard of pay, benefits and working conditions in the industry that lifts you up as well throughout the country. Replacements are doing your nursing colleagues no favors even if you “support” their views. To those of you coming in from the South, take some time to organize your own staffs. Unions are not illegal–you only work in a right-to-work environment.

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