Allina Nursing Strike Continues After Nurses Vote Down Proposal

A majority of nurses felt the latest contract offer from Allina “took away more from nurses than it offered.”

More than 4,000 nurses will continue their nearly month-long strike after rejecting Allina Health’s latest contract offer on Monday evening.
 
The nursing strike, which began on Labor Day, along with the one-week walkout that occurred in June, is said to have cost Allina more than $40 million so far, according to the Star Tribune. Striking nurses have picketed for 29 days now—nearly the longest stretch in state history after a 38-day strike in 1984.
 
Nurses from five Allina hospitals, which are represented by the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA), said the latest contract offer still didn’t provide affordable enough health care plans.
 
“In order to get some sort of monetary safety net to protect nurses moving to Allina’s high-deductible health plans, [Allina was] asking us to give more away,” said MNA spokeswoman Angela Becchetti in a statement. “The nurses felt that although some progress was made in negotiations with Allina it wasn’t enough.”
 
With violence in hospitals on the rise, striking nurses have been advocating for protection in the workplace. The latest proposal included a full-time security guard in emergency rooms, face-to-face workplace safety training and more. However, Becchetti said that in the end “the proposal took more away from nurses than it offered.”
 
Allina spokesman David Kanihan said the health care organization was “disappointed” by the result of the vote. “This proposal was eminently fair and went very far in addressing the issues the union raised during negotiations,” he said in a statement.
 
Included in Allina’s proposal, according to Kanihan, were a wage increase, bonuses, a “sustainable insurance plan” and various workplace safety provisions.
 
Allina must now wait for MNA to come back with a proposal it deems fit. Both sides said on Monday that they expected to return to the negotiating table, although no date was given for when that might be.