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Several Minnesota hospital systems reach tentative agreements with nurses

In Duluth, St. Luke's and Essentia shared the news late Monday night and early Tuesday morning. Nurses with the Minnesota Nurses Association have rescinded their strike notices at the hospitals.

Nurses walking on the picket line.
A Minnesota Nurses Association member gives two thumbs up to others walking the picket line outside St. Mary’s Medical Center shortly after a three-day strike that began on Sept. 12. Approximately 15,000 nurses in the Twin Ports and the Twin Cities participated and had threatened to engage in a longer strike unless a mutually agreeable contract could be negotiated.
Steve Kuchera / File / Duluth News Tribune
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DULUTH — Several health care systems around the state have reached tentative agreements with the Minnesota Nurses Association regarding contract negotiations.

Twin Cities health care providers Allina, Children's Minnesota, North Memorial, Methodist and Fairview West have all reported tentative agreements, according to several Twin Cities news outlets. All MNA groups at these hospitals have rescinded strike notices.

Monday evening, St. Luke's in Duluth issued a statement indicating that the health care provider may be in line to avoid an open-ended nurses' union strike that was scheduled to begin on Sunday, Dec. 11, barring a breakthrough in contract negotiations.

Essentia in Duluth updated its bargaining website Tuesday morning, also stating a tentative agreement had been reached and MNA nurses agreed to withdraw their strike notice. According to Essentia, the MNA bargaining committee unanimously agreed to recommend ratification.

The MNA will share the tentative agreement's details with its Essentia nurses and will vote on ratification no later than Dec. 12, Essentia said. A ratification date was not shared for St. Luke's.

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"At Essentia, we are privileged to have skilled, compassionate nurses, and we value their contributions to make a healthy difference in people’s lives," Essentia said on its bargaining website. "Thanks go to all our colleagues for the teamwork demonstrated as we have been preparing for a potential work stoppage. We appreciate the efforts of the negotiating teams to reach a resolution, allowing us all to continue focusing on providing high-quality patient care to the communities we are privileged to serve."

The MNA has not yet released any statements.

On Dec. 1, MNA announced plans for more than 15,000 members to strike against 16 hospitals in Minnesota and Wisconsin, unless they could negotiate a contract addressing their pay and staffing concerns.

Although details of what appears to be a pending agreement with St. Luke's were not immediately available, the Duluth-based health care provider sent out the following statement: "We are pleased to announce that St. Luke’s and MNA reached a tentative contract agreement. MNA has withdrawn its strike notice and will bring the contract to nurses for ratification in the near future. We want to thank all who have worked so diligently at the table to reach a fair and equitable contract."

Related Topics: HEALTHCARE
Laura Butterbrodt covers health for the Duluth News Tribune. She has a bachelor of arts in journalism from South Dakota State University and has been working as a reporter in Minnesota and South Dakota since 2014.
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