No agreement in talks between nurses and Allina Health
St. Paul, MN – Negotiations between nurses and Allina Health ended with no agreement and no responses by hospital negotiators on nurses' proposals, Aug. 23. Allina negotiators continue to say that they will not offer proposals or discuss issues of staffing and workplace safety until nurses agree to end all of their health insurance plans.
Mediators with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) met with both sides during the day to discuss the potential for settlement on a new three-year contract. Nurses have been in talks with Allina Health since February. Hospital negotiators once again did not offer new proposals or address outstanding nurse proposals without demanding concessions on nurses' health insurance plans.
“It's unfortunate and very disappointing,” said Angela Becchetti, a registered nurse at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. “Allina's negotiators have been determined not to have an honest conversation with nurses. We will not forget this disrespectful behavior anytime soon.”
Nurses overwhelmingly rejected Allina's last offer in a vote on Aug. 18 and authorized the negotiating team to call for an open-ended strike.
“Nurses are prepared to go out on strike five, six, seven weeks, whatever it takes,” Becchetti said. “We will all leave our jobs at Allina hospitals rather than accept an offer that costs nurses thousands of dollars and puts their families at risk.”
Allina continued its demands to terminate nurses' four healthcare plans during Tuesday’s talks. Nurses attempted to compromise on July 22 by offering to end two of the plans and increase out-of-pocket costs on the two remaining plans. Allina rejected this proposal on Aug. 1 and offered another proposal to end all of the plans, which nurses rejected.
“We hoped that Allina Health would come to bargaining today ready to reach an agreement,” Becchetti said. “They've shown us today, they never intended to work with us.”