MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Allina Health is readying their temporary replacements as nearly 5,000 nurses prepare to walk off the job Monday morning.
“Feels like it’s gone on far too long to be honest with you,” said David Kanihan, vice president of communications for Allina Health.
The impending strike comes after months of both sides being unable to reach an agreement over whether the nurses get to keep their union-backed health insurance.
“I think we are close to a settlement, and we’re very hopeful that today’s negotiation session will yield that,” Kanihan said.
But so far there is no deal. Nurses from all over the country have already begun flying in to the Twin Cities in case of a strike.
They will be helping to staff five Twin Cities hospitals that will be affected by the strike, including Abbott Northwestern and United Hospital in St Paul.
“We are bringing in around 1,500 highly-qualified nurses,” Kanihan said.
The nurses also went on strike for one week in June.
“Significantly about 50 percent of those nurses we’re bringing in this time are the same nurses that were here for the strike in June, so they already have some experience and familiarity with our facilities,” he said.
Allina Health says while a strike costs the hospital money, it does not cost the patients care.
“The public can absolutely be confident that care will be top quality,” Kanihan said.
The nurses are set to walk off the job beginning at 7 a.m. Monday morning. They say they plan to strike indefinitely until their demands are met.