Minnesota Nurses Association prepares ‘information picket’ before contracts expire

Thousands of Minnesota nurses are preparing to picket as they seek to begin contract negotiations with local hospitals.

The Minnesota Nurses Association is calling for solutions to what it calls a “crisis” occurring in hospitals across the state.

“Patients are really suffering at the hands of poorly staffed hospitals and, predictably, nurses have started to leave, they’re like, ‘I don’t need to work this hard and suffer this much. not to see things get better,'” Kelley Anaas said. , a nurse.

They want more done to address staffing issues — including higher salaries — and focus on diversity and inclusion in health care.

But they don’t want patients to worry – saying this information picket isn’t a work stoppage – so it shouldn’t affect hospital staff.

These nurses are saying that big changes need to happen in hospitals and they are preparing to voice these demands. They have already made thousands of signs for an upcoming picket in the Twin Cities.

It comes as 15,000 Nurses Association of Minnesota nurses in the Twin Cities and Twin Ports prepare for contract negotiations. They are seeking better compensation for the sacrifices they have made during the pandemic and the rising cost of inflation.

The nurses’ association also says nurses want the healthcare system to be better prepared for the next pandemic.

“I have seen a lot of nurses leaving the bedside over the past two years and I have oriented new nurses over the past few years and some of them have already left,” Shiori Konda-Muhammad said. , a cardiac intensive care nurse, adding “It’s quite sad.”

5 NEWS FROM THE EYEWITNESS contacted hospitals in the region for an answer to the upcoming end of the nurses’ contracts.

Alina Health released a statement that said in part, “Allina Health values ​​our employees and respects the Minnesota Nurses Association’s right to conduct information picketing during contract negotiations. Since March, we have met with the union six times to reach an agreement that recognizes the contributions of our employees, while prioritizing the health needs of our community.

The Twin Cities Hospital Group also released a statement, saying, “Over the past seven weeks, we have engaged in good faith negotiations to reach a fair and equitable agreement. We will continue to present proposals that recognize the efforts of our nurses, the realities of the business community and the need to continually reshape the way health care is delivered to the community we serve.

The Twin Cities nurses’ contracts will expire on May 31, the day before the information picket.
The Twin Ports nurses’ contracts will expire on June 30.

Andrew B. Reiter