Approximately 15,000 Minnesota Nurses Association members in the Twin Cities and Twin Ports voted “overwhelmingly” on Monday to approve a strike, according to the organization.
A strike can now be called by nurse negotiators after giving hospital bosses a 10-day notice. During the walkout, nurses from fifteen hospitals would be engaged.
The nurses claim that since hospitals are understaffed and executive compensation rates are out of line, patient care is suffering.
According to Mary C. Turner, an RN at North Memorial Hospital and president of the Minnesota Nurses Association, “Hospital executives with million-dollar salaries have created a crisis of retention and care in our healthcare system, as more nurses are leaving the bedside, putting quality patient care at risk.”
Nurses do not take this choice lightly, but we are ready to stand up at the negotiating table and, if necessary, in the street to ensure that patients come first in our hospitals.
“We are disappointed that the nurses’ union rushed into a strike vote without exhausting all options for reaching a deal at the negotiating table or agreeing to our request for mediation,” the Twin Cities Hospitals Group, which represents Methodist, North Memorial, Fairview, and Children’s Hospitals, told Patch.
The statement adds, “We believe mediation is a useful instrument for establishing common ground, and mediation was mutually beneficial in our meetings three years ago.
We once more urge the nurses’ union to accept mediation and come back to the negotiating table with the hospitals in good faith.