MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Allina Health says they’re prepared for nearly 5,000 of their union nurses to walk off the job Monday morning.
The nurses will begin their strike at 7 a.m. Monday. They’re calling it “open-ended,” which means there’s no telling how long it will last. Allina Health and the nurse’s union spent hours negotiating on Friday.
In the end, they couldn’t come to an agreement on health insurance and other issues.
Five local hospitals will be affected by the strike. Those are Abbott Northwestern, Phillips Eye Institute, United in St. Paul, Unity in Fridley and Mercy in Coon Rapids.
At a Sunday news conference, officials at Allina Health said the hospitals will operate as normal. They said 1,500 temporary nurses will work alongside their regular caregivers. In addition, at least 350 of their own nurses have agreed to continue working despite the strike.
Allina Health President Penny Wheeler says this isn’t the outcome they wanted, but their first priority is the patients.
“I’ll say it again and I’m sorry I have to say it again. Nobody wins in a strike. Not the patients and not especially the communities we serve,” Wheeler said. “However, the union has chosen this path and our job is to care for our communities and that’s what we intend to do.”
This will be the second strike this summer for the nurses. The first was in June and lasted one week.