Nurses Hit Picket Line After Talks With Allina Health Fail

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Thousands of nurses are walking the picket line after failing to reach an agreement with Allina Health.

The nurses went on strike at 7 a.m. Monday. Within minutes, Allina had replacement nurses working with patients at all five hospitals impacted by the strike. The Minnesota Nurses Association says the key issues include health insurance, workplace safety and staffing levels.

More than 1,500 nurses, along with supporters of the Minnesota Nurses Association, are walking the picket line here and at four other Allina Hospitals across the Twin Cities. These nurses say they are prepared to stay the course until Allina is ready to put patient care above profit.

These nurses say they would rather be by the bedside of their patients than walking a picket line.

“We are here because we were forced to be here by Allina,” Rose Roach with the Minnesota Nurses Association said.

Members of the Minnesota Nurses Association negotiating team say after 22 hours of talks they were willing to compromise but they say Allina kept asking for more.

“We were willing to do a transition into their health plans, which they have said this whole negotiation is about having us do that. We put on the table a willingness to transition into those plans and that still wasn’t enough,” Roach said. “They kept moving the goal post over and over again during that entire 22 hour period.”

These nurses say this work stoppage is about more than health care, safety and staffing levels.

“They clearly want to break the back of the nurse’s union. They want to take away the voice of these nurses to advocate for their patients,” Roach said.

“We’ve contracted with about 1,500 replacement nurses. Of these, about half are nurses who worked in our hospitals during the strike in June. Many of those nurses are working in the same areas where they worked before,” David Kanihan with Allina Health said.

Allina officials says around 375 nurses from MNA have decided to work instead of strike. They say its latest offer to the union was beyond fair. The big sticking point is how much nurses should contribute to the cost of their health care.

Allina says it would love to get back to the table for talks but at this hour, there are no talks scheduled between Allina and the Minnesota Nurses Association.

More from Reg Chapman

One Comment

  1. Dan Mack says:

    It’s great weather for our Socialist Union members to enjoy the $2,500 they saved voting in Obamacare. Dayton has announced the DFl duplicated minni-Obamacare, is doing swell too. Only minor increases in premiums of 66% – 100% and co-pays. Gosh the Socialist Village is a grand place.

  2. Murray Landau says:

    I have a relative that was offered $7000.00 a week is she, and RN, would come work for Allina during this strike. Soooo, if Allina is paying all of these “fill ins” that kind of money, why aren’t they willing to give better healthcare coverage to their full time employees? As usual, something is fishy here!!

    1. Dan Mack says:

      All Allina workers have better health care, and choices of plans. The nurses simply feel that because they are “special” they are entitled to special treatment and do not want to pay their share of the costs. If they did not want government controlled Socialist healthcare, and were not willing to pay for it they shouldn’t have voted for it. If they are dissatisfied with what the other employees are blessed with, they are certainly welcome to switch and buy their insurance from the State pool at MNsure.

  3. Ralph Warden says:

    Don’t they understand OSHA has appropriated workplace safety issues. Here is another example of why unions are a waste of time in this century.

  4. Eric says:

    Those who cross the line will still enjoy all the benefits of being in the union. tons of overtime, who are they kidding? this is greed as they cross the line and rake it in. some people (scabs) are just really good at taking advantage of a situation. The temps will do fine along with their managers who are more than qualified to handle the situation. the hospitals have already said they will not be affected by the strike. they had plenty of notice. this is about minnesota nurses not having to take less home to their families, who likes a pay cut? record profits and more corporate greed. the sad thing here is management hates a scab more then the unions do. the scabs don’t realize it but management likes loyalty just as much as anyone else. is the big payday worth it? the temps are just doing their thing, but the scabs..

    1. Patient mortality rates will go down to zero once these union nurses go on strike.

  5. I don’t get it. These union goon nurses fully supported Obamacare. Now they dont’ want to pay the piper now that rates went up. We told everyone the rates and deductibles would skyrocket. These nurses need to shut their mouths and pay up. All of us have to pay a heck of a lot more money that we do NOT have. You nurses are not special and not exempt. No matter how many pathetic little signs you put in front of your $500,000 private estates.

  6. Wendy Knyphausen says:

    I value nurses hugely. However, it is unreasonable in our current economy to not expect that the cost of health insurance will become a burden to your employer. Mandated coverage and penalties for providing so called “Cadillac” plans under the affordable care act as well as the premium increases occurring (mine went up 93% despite a $10,000 dollar deductible in four years) is creating an untenable situation for employers, individual purchasers and even those on the exchange. Higher out of pocket costs are the norm everywhere and health care workers are known by actuaries in the insurance industry to be disproportionately higher consumers of healthcare.

    1. Fred says:

      It’s not untenable for the executives and the investors who are getting FREE healthcare and million dollar salaries. There is no shortage of money here, it is just a matter of whose bank account it is flowing into.

      1. Steve99 says:

        Why are the nurses so special…my wife works for Allina and has the “traditional” insurace. Our son was inpatient for 18 months in an ICU. We paid the $3000 deductible, and the rest was covered. Heaven forbid anyone goes through what we did, but what they are offering is fair. BTW, my wife is not close to the $35-42hr pay scale these nurses are at working .6, with unlimited overtime. Heathcare has changed for everyone, including these nurses. Nurses reading this, in those 18 months I have gained so much respect for you and what you, however our heathcare economy has changed and as much as it sucks, it is changing for you as well……from a 30 year union member.

        1. ***** says:

          well said…and agree.

          they are protesting the wrong source…need to be at the door of leadersip of government and those supporting obamacare.

          Repeal Obamacare

  7. ***** says:

    why doesn’t the union but out insurance plans for the members to pick from instead of giving that money towards political favors and campaigns.

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