By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A suburban emergency room and urgent care remains closed as 50 nurses are on strike.

The nurses at WestHealth in Plymouth were back out picketing Monday morning at 7 a.m. The nurses are in a dispute over wages and summer holiday pay.

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Sonya Worner is one of the health care workers on strike. She spoke with WCCO on Sunday.

“We do not understand how such a small compensation that we’re asking for turns into shutting down an ER location,” Worner said.

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Allina Health says patients who need the ER or urgent care will be directed to other care sites, and the rest of WestHealth’s services are open.

Allina released a new statement Monday, saying they are disappointed the nurses decided to strike. Read the full statement below:

Allina Health is disappointed the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA)’s approximately 50 nurses who work in Abbott Northwestern WestHealth’s Emergency Department and Urgent Care facilities have chosen to strike. Due to the work stoppage, Emergency and Urgent Care services at the WestHealth location have been temporarily suspended from 5:00 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 17 until 7:00 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20. No other services on the WestHealth campus have been impacted.

Allina Health’s priority is providing high quality care to the community. Patients can receive the same level of care at our Abbott Northwestern Hospital Emergency Department, additional Urgent Care locations, and our Virtual Urgent Care and Everyday Online care options.

Allina Health and Abbott Northwestern WestHealth have negotiated 7 times with MNA. A contract settlement was previously reached and unanimously recommended by the union’s bargaining team. Unfortunately, the MNA could not finalize that agreement. Throughout negotiations, we have consistently offered proposals that demonstrate our commitment to our employees, including an immediate wage increase to align wages with other metro hospitals and agreeing to some of the union’s other priority issues.

At a time when hospitals are under significant pressure throughout the state and country due to sustained high volumes from COVID-19 and other acute illness, a work stoppage benefits no one. It is our preference to reach an agreement on a new contract that prioritizes the health needs of the community and sustainably recognizes the contributions of our employees.

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