BEACON TRANSCRIPT – The nurse union has 4,800 members. They devised a plan that allows them to be on strike and care for emergencies at the same time. After the second round of negotiations over the week, end has failed, the Allina hospitals nurses have decided to strike.
1,500 temporary replacements have been recruited from other hospitals so that Allina hospitals can treat their patients for the period of the strike. The lower numbers are possible because the temporary nurses are going to do full-time work and some 350 regular nurses are going to cross the picket line. This ensures the hospital will be correctly staffed.
The Minnesota Nurses Association – the local union which represents the nurses has created a team of nurses that can help in case of an emergency.
Angela Becchetti declared that nurses give special attention to their patients, even when they leave the bedside. If one of the Allina hospitals calls, they would get back to care for medical emergencies.
The open-ended strike is scheduled to start at 7 am at the United Hospital in St Paul, the Philips Eye Institute in Abbott and Minneapolis, Unity Hospital in Fridley, and Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids.
So far, negotiations have revolved around Allina’s demand to end four health plans supported by unions. Allina officials have criticized these plans because they say they’re expensive, lack cost control and encourage overuse of costly medical services. That’s why Allina officials want nurses to switch to corporate plans.
On the other hand, the union is defending health plans. They are important benefits for nurses, as these health workers have higher risks of workplace illness and injury compared to the general population.
Both sides have negotiated during the week end and enlisted the help of federal mediators.
Negotiations ended, after Allina’s last offer was rejected. Health plans would be dissolved by 2020, but the union could get involved in designing corporate plans. This was deemed unacceptable by Allina officials.
Everyone was shocked at the outcome, and nurses decided to go through with the strike. There are no further negotiations in sight.
What’s your take on this issue? Do you believe the nurses are right to go ahead with their protest? Or should they have settled for the corporate offer? Leave a comment below! Thank you.
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