FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sam Fettig
Nurses at St. Luke’s Lake View facility have been working without a contract since September 30 as they seek solutions to address crisis of care, understaffing, and retention
Nurses at Moose Lake have been working without a contract since Essentia purchased the facility in 2020 and executives refused to recognize nurses’ existing contract
Lake View, Moose Lake nurses will join 15,000 nurses in the Twin Cities and Twin Ports to vote to authorize potential unfair labor practices strike
(Two Harbors and Moose Lake) – November 28, 2022 – Nurses at St. Luke’s Lake View Hospital in Two Harbors and Essentia’s Moose Lake Hospital announced today that they will join nurses at fifteen other facilities in the Twin Cities and Twin Ports to vote on November 30, 2022, to authorize a potential unfair labor practice strike.
Nurses at Lake View have been bargaining for a new contract, seeking solutions to the crisis of care, understaffing, and retention at the facility that St. Luke’s and Lake View executives have failed to address. Nurses at Lake View previously held an informational picket in August, and have been working without a contract since September 30, 2022, when their current contracts expired.
“Nurses have tried everything we can to make our hospital executives hear us; we have internally reached out to our CEO and management back in January of this year, we have been determined to try to get them to be proactive, published an open letter to the community, we took to the sidewalk with an informational picket, and we have worked hard at the bargaining table,” said the MNA Lake View Nurse Negotiating Team.
“But the crisis of care and working conditions at our hospital is getting worse, not better. Nurses at Lake View do this work because we care about our community, but the punishing mandatory call and overtime practices at Lake View that force nurses to frequently stay past the end of their shifts – not knowing when we will be able to get home to care for our families – have jeopardized the future of healthcare and retention in our community. Patients at the bedside cannot wait any longer, and nurses are ready to act to protect the quality of care our community deserves.”
Nurses at Moose Lake continue to seek a fair first contract with Essentia Health, who purchased the hospital two years ago and immediately refused to recognize nurses’ existing contract. As a result of refusal by Essentia Health executives to recognize the nurses’ prior contract, Moose Lake nurses have lost bonuses, earned sick leave hours, and company retirement contributions, despite promises that the acquisition would benefit the community. Nurses at Moose Lake previously held an informational picket in June in their effort to pressure Essentia executives to settle a fair contract.
“Instead of committing unfair labor practices, Essentia needs to live up to its own self-proclaimed values and agree to a fair contract that respects the hard work and sacrifice of Moose Lake nurses who have been negotiating for more than two years,” said Sarah Lambert, RN, Essentia Moose Lake.
If approved by a two-thirds majority of voting members, the votes will authorize nurse negotiation leaders at Lake View and Moose Lake to call an unfair labor practice strike following a 10-day notice to hospital employers. Lake View and Moose Lake nurses voting on Wednesday will join 15,000 nurses in the Twin Cities and Twin Ports to authorize a potential unfair labor practices strike. Those nurses announced earlier this month that they will vote to authorize a potential second unfair labor practices strike in their ongoing fight to win fair contracts to put patients before profits in our hospitals.