UPDATE: MN Nurses Vote on Pending Strike

Update: Nurses voted to reject the employee contract proposal and to begin their open ended strike.  A statement from the Minnesota Nurses Association can be seen here. 

St. Paul, MN-Nurses with Allina Health hospitals are voting Thursday on whether they will again strike over employer contract negotiations.  

The Minnesota Nurses Association, representing 4,800 nurses at five Allina metro hospitals, is recommending nurses vote to strike.  Outlined on their website a “no” vote is a vote against the contract offer from Allina, explaining, “a vote no means we will stand together in advocating for our union voice and protecting patient safety.”

The association goes on to tell its members that a “yes” vote means, among other things, agreeing to wage increases of 2% (with no retroactive increase from June 1, 2016), and agreeing “to accept no future protection for Staffing and Workplace Safety.”

According to the Star Tribune the first nurses strike was limited to seven days in June, explaining Allina’s financial report for the first half of 2016 showed costs of $20.4 million to hire replacement nurses from around the country.  

“The Minnesota Nurses Association publicly supports a single-payer health care system and Medicare-for-all, but Obamacare shows us how expensive those systems are.” says Twila Brase, R.N., president and co-founder of Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom. “The MNA objects to its nurses being forced to pay higher premiums for the low-deductible plans that most of their patients no longer have because of Obamacare. It wants Allina to absorb the cost of the coming 40% Obamacare “Cadillac” tax on these expensive policies. This would mean higher medical bills and insurance premiums for everyone. Perhaps the MNA will reconsider their support for government-run health care once they actually start paying the bill for it.”

A spokesperson for the nurses association tells Alpha News that voting concludes at 9 PM, with results coming out “around 10:30 PM.”  If the vote is within a five percent margin, it automatically triggers a recount.  

If the nurses vote to strike it will be an “open-ended strike” until an agreement can be made with Allina.  

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