Nursing

News spotlight: Minnesota nurses vote to strike

Nurse Leader Insider, August 23, 2010

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More than 1,000 nurses at two hospitals in Duluth, northern Minnesota, have rejected contract offers and authorized their union to call a one-day strike against St. Mary’s Duluth Clinic Medical Center (SDMC) and St. Luke’s Hospitals.

This is the second walkout in three months for nurses represented by the Minnesota Nurses Association. Ninety percent of voting SMDC nurses and 86% of voting St. Luke’s nurses rejected contract proposals, citing staffing and nurse-to-patient ratios as the key issues. The nurses argue the contracts gave them little say in stopping new admissions to understaffed units and that they’re frustrated with extra shifts, long shifts, and high patient loads, the same dispute from earlier this summer when 12,000 Twin Cities nurses held a one-day strikeout, ending in a settlement.

The nurses have yet to set a date, and will have to give the hospitals 10 days notice before the strike. Officials with both hospitals said they felt their proposals were fair and addressed all of the issues. A statement from St. Luke’s Hospital also said administrators are fully prepared for a strike, but that they were disappointed in the nurses’ vote to reject their last and best offer.

Source: ModernHealthcare.com , MPR News, and Fox 21 News



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