Twin Ports nurses to announce picket as they seek new contracts that put patients before profits

MEDIA ADVISORY

Contact: Sam Fettig
(o) 651-414-2863
(c) 612-741-0662
sam.fettig@mnnurses.org

Lauren Nielsen
(o) 651-414-2862
(c) 651-376-9709
lauren.nielsen@mnnurses.org

Nurses are seeking fair contracts which will prioritize patient care at the bedside, not the bottom line of CEOs with million-dollar salaries and their corporate healthcare policies

Informational pickets will be held at Twin Ports hospitals operated by Essentia Health and St. Luke’s

(Duluth) – June 7, 2022 – This Thursday, as they prepare for another day of negotiations, Twin Ports nurses with the Minnesota Nurses Association will hold a press conference to announce their intent to picket on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, at hospitals operated by Essentia Health and St. Luke’s. The informational picket comes as 15,000 nurses in the Twin Ports and Twin Cities seek new contracts which will put patients and workers before profits in Minnesota hospitals.

“Despite the toll of COVID-19, nurses want to work the jobs we love. We are seeking contracts which will allow us to stay at the bedside and provide the care our patients deserve,” said Chris Rubesch, RN—Essentia Duluth, and MNA First Vice President. “Nurses are fed up with corporate healthcare which gives multi-million dollar salaries to CEOs who then close hospitals, cut staff, and charge patients more. We are ready to fight to put community healthcare before corporate profits.”

As they negotiate new contracts, nurses are seeking solutions to the crisis in our hospitals which will put patients before profits. Along with fair compensation for sacrifices made during the pandemic and for the rising cost of living, nurses aim to solve the crisis of understaffing and oppose corporate policies that are driving nurses away from the bedside.

“Right now, nurses are overworked, hospitals are understaffed, and patients are overcharged while our hospital administration cuts costs and executives make millions,” said Larissa Hubbartt, RN—St. Luke’s Duluth. “Twin Ports nurses care for, and care about, our community. It is time for our hospital executives to do the same and put patients and nurses before corporate healthcare policies and the bottom line.”

The crisis of understaffing and retention in Minnesota hospitals has been going on for years, as CEOs cut nurses and cut expenses even while costs increased for Minnesota patients. The corporate healthcare policies of Twin Ports hospital executives are also driving the systems to move more services to off-site surgical centers without MNA nurses and the complete care team and additional services that a full hospital can provide.

All the while, hospital CEOs have continued to make millions in executive compensation, including Essentia CEO David Herman, who received a $1 million raise from 2019 to 2020, bringing his annual salary to $2.4 million. Hospital CEOs with million-dollar salaries can afford to fix the crisis they created, to put patients and workers before profits in our hospitals.

Current contracts for Twin Ports nurses will expire on June 30, 2022. This informational picket is not a work stoppage; nurses will not be walking off the job to participate in the picket and hospital operations will not be affected by the action.

DETAILS: THURS, JUNE 9 – PRESS CONFERENCE TO ANNOUNCE INTENT TO PICKET  

  • When: Thursday, June 9, 2022, 8:30 a.m.
  • Where: Holiday Center, Superior Street Rotunda, 207 W Superior St, Duluth, MN  55802
  • Who: Twin Ports nurses bargaining for new contracts to put patients before profits
  • What: Media availability as nurses announce informational picket

DETAILS: TUES, JUNE 21 – TWIN PORTS NURSES INFORMATIONAL PICKET
Additional details on exact picket times and locations will be shared with members of the press closer to the day of the picket. Please direct questions to Sam.Fettig@mnnurses.org.

  • When: Tuesday, June 21, 2022
  • Where: Hospitals owned by Essentia Health and St. Luke’s
  • Who: Twin Ports nurses bargaining for new contracts
  • What: Informational picket to encourage the public to stand with nurses
  • Why: To call on CEOs to put patients before profits and to approve fair contracts

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