As many as 12,000 union nurses gave notice to 14 Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., hospitals that they will go on a 24-hour strike on June 10 if the hospitals don't resolve contract disputes before then.
Minn. nurses set strike date
The nurses voted overwhelmingly on May 19 to go on strike after negotiations with the hospitals failed, but union leaders held off on naming a date for more than a week. The nurses are represented by the Minnesota Nurses Association, which is a member of National Nurses United, a Washington-based all-RN union that formed last year with the stated goal of taking a hard line with hospital employers.
If contract talks are not resolved, the nurses will walk out at 7 a.m. on June 10, and resume work at 7 a.m. the following morning, union negotiators announced in a news conference.
Minnesota Nurses Association officials said the major sticking point in the negotiations was not wages, but rather their demand that hospitals set maximum patient limits for nurses. When a reporter during the news conference asked whether nurse-patient ratios were more important than wages, the union members collectively said, “Absolutely!”
A spokesman for the Twin Cities hospitals has said that union officials have refused to back down on any of their numerous demands during the negotiating process, even though the hospitals have agreed to numerous bargaining concessions on their side.
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.