ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Gov. Mark Dayton is trying to broker an end to the 36-day Allina nurses strike.
On Monday, the governor asked both sides to come to the governor’s mansion in St. Paul. He said he doesn’t want them to leave until they have an agreement.
The meetings between Allina officials, the nurses and the governor started at 11 a.m. Since then, there’s been no update as to how the talks are going.
Just last week, the more than 4,000 nurses overwhelmingly rejected Allina’s latest contract offer.
The governor does not have authority over either Allina or the nurses, but his intervention does have precedent.
“It’s not rare,” said John Budd, a University of Minnesota professor who specializes with labor disputes. “Gov. Dayton tried to do the same thing with the orchestra lockout a couple of years ago. President Clinton tried to do the same thing in a baseball strike.”
Even if the governor is able to broker a deal, the more than 4,000 nurses at five Allina hospitals would still have to vote it up or down.
The latest Allina nurses strike started on Labor Day. The nurses have objected to Allina’s new insurance plans and have concerns over workplace safety.
When you add in the nurses’ one week strike in June, this is the longest nurses strike in Minnesota history.