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MNA nurses reject hospital concessions

By Deb Konechne

Minneapolis, MN – Minnesota nurses returned to the bargaining table with Twin Cities Hospitals on June 29. Four days earlier, on June 25, the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) had filed a ten-day notice of intent to strike, setting the stage for an open-ended strike beginning July 6 at 14 area hospitals.

According to a statement from the MNA: “Despite MNA nurses significantly modifying their staffing and wage proposals, there was little progress made in today’s negotiations with the Twin Cities Hospitals.”

The statement continued: “Many of the employers’ concessions and take backs remain on the table. Despite the hospitals’ claim in a press statement (that was released as bargaining was still going on) that the proposed decrease in pension contributions was off the table, the fact is that it is contingent on a number of things: MNA nurses must accept all the take backs and concessions the hospitals are proposing, none of which address patient safety or staffing issues. The MNA membership must approve a contract with these concessions. The nurses must pull their 10-day strike notice. Only if all those things happen will the employers make a ‘recommendation’ to their pension bargaining team to keep the nurses’ pension as is.”

“The MNA bargaining teams felt that this proposal was unacceptable and rejected it but requested a return to the table on Wednesday. In fact, our nurses remain committed to meeting anytime, anywhere before July 6 in hopes we can reach a contract agreement and avoid a strike.”

Minnesota nurses walked off their jobs for a one-day strike on June 10. 12,000 nurses are poised to strike at 7:00 a.m. on July 6, in the largest nursing strike in the history of the United States.

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