iStock/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) — Thousands of nurses at five hospitals in the Minneapolis-area have finished their week-long strike over a contract dispute.
Although the strike is over, the nurses’ contract fight is not.
The nurses in the Minnesota Nurses Association believe hospital operator Allina Health wants to switch nurses to a plan with lower monthly premiums and higher out-of-pocket costs.
Almost 5,000 nurses joined the picket lines starting last weekend, calling for Allina to hold contract talks.
“We’re asking Allina, come back and actually negotiate with us,” said Angie Becchetti, one of the nurses on strike, last Sunday. “We’re asking for health insurance to keep intact and we’re asking for better staffing and workplace violence prevention.”
It was unclear when the nurses and Allina Health would hold talks, and if and when the nurses were planning a second strike.
“We’re eager to get back to the bargaining table,” said Dr. Penny Wheeler, Allina CEO, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, but “both sides need to be willing to talk about a health plan transition.”
Allina Health brought in 1,400 replacement nurses this week, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported, and Allina officials said emergency rooms at four of the hospital were near capacity often. Officials also said Allina decided to cancel elective surgeries at Unity Hospital and close some recovery floors, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
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