Essentia Moose Lake nurses vote to authorize strike

(WEAU)
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 3:35 PM CDT
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MOOSE LAKE, MN -- Nurses at Essentia Moose Lake voted to authorize a possible strike, after they say they have worked two years without a contract.

Nurses with the Minnesota Nurses Association voted Tuesday.

According to the MNA, they are asking Essentia to “address under-staffing and retention at the hospital and to keep nurses at the bedside providing care to the community.”

Now, they would need to give Essentia Moose Lake leaders 10 days notice before they would officially strike.

“Currently, executives at the health system have refused nurses’ requests for language that would address shift scheduling, allowing nurses more input and predictability in their schedules as they balance a demanding career with other responsibilities. The holdup over scheduling means that executives still will not engage on the topic of wages and compensation with the Moose Lake nurses, despite two years of drawn-out talks,” MNA leaders wrote Tuesday.

In a previous statement regarding the nurses’ requests in Moose Lake, an Essentia spokesperson said they respect their nurses and the role they play in the healthcare system.

“... We are focusing on our discussions at the bargaining table because that is where solutions are found. Essentia will continue to negotiate in good faith and we look forward to reaching a mutually beneficial agreement. Our nurses are valued members of our care teams at Essentia Health, and we respect their right to conduct informational picketing as part of a labor union. Our top priority in everything we do is to continue providing our patients with the kind of expert care they expect and deserve.”

This vote comes one day after 15,000 nurses across Minnesota, also with the MNA, voted to authorize a strike as well.

The 2,000 nurses impacted in the Twin Ports would now need to give Essentia and St. Luke’s a 10-day notice before officially walking off the job.

Chris Rubesch, a MNA spokesperson, said Wednesday they have not yet given the hospitals their notice.

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