RNs - Minnesota

SMDC nurses ratify contract, ending threat of 1-day strike

SMDC’s registered nurses on Friday overwhelmingly ratified the tentative contract they had reached with the health system just two days earlier. Duluth News Tribune, September 11, 2010 SMDC’s registered nurses on Friday overwhelmingly ratified the tentative contract they had reached with the health system just two days earlier. About 95 percent of the nurses voting approved the three-year contract, said Dan Englehart, an organizer with the Minnesota Nurses Association, the union representing about 960 registered nurses at SMDC, which is changing its name to Essentia. ... SMDC

SMDC Nurses Approve New Contract

Boua Xiong & Kevin Jacobsen, KBJR News 1, September 10, 2010 Duluth - SMDC nurses have voted to approve a new contract that after nearly 30 straight hours of bargaining on Wednesday. Union officials say 95% of the nurses supported the agreement Steve Strand, a registered nurse at SMDC and a bargaining member, said the union was able to get contract language that would allow nurses to temporarily close a unit if they feel they cannot provide safe patient care. The contract also includes wage increases. ... SMDC

Deal with Duluth, Minnesota nurses averts 1-day strike

Associated Press,  September 9, 2010 Duluth - The union for nurses at a Duluth hospital says it has reached a tentative agreement with management that will avert a one-day strike set for September 14. The union says negotiators reached agreement Wednesday after a 30-hour negotiating session. The negotiation committee is strongly recommending the rank-and-file ratify the deal. Full details haven't been released, but the union's web site says they did better than the zero to 2 percent pay raises in other nurse contracts around the state. Staffing levels were a key sticking point between the Minnesota Nurses Association and SMDC Medical Center. The MNA reached a deal with Saint Luke's Hospital in Duluth last week. The ratification vote was Wednesday and nurses were expected to approve it.

After 27 hours of talks, nurses, SMDC strike deal

A threatened one-day strike by SMDC nurses was averted Wednesday when the nurses union and the health system reached a tentative contract agreement after a marathon 27½-hour negotiating session. Candace Renalls, Duluth News Tribune, September 9, 2010 A threatened one-day strike by SMDC nurses was averted Wednesday when the nurses union and the health system reached a tentative contract agreement after a marathon 27½-hour negotiating session. The almost 960 registered nurses affected will vote Friday on the three-year contract which their union, the Minnesota Nurses Association, is recommending they ratify. ... After

Saint Luke's nurses ratify agreement

Essentia vote expected Friday. Madeleine Baran & Lorna Benson, Minnesota Public Radio, September 9, 2010 Saint Paul - A lengthy labor dispute between Duluth nurses and two local hospitals appears to be all but over. Nurses at Saint Luke's hospital voted overwhelmingly Wednesday night to approve a contract, a week after hospital officials and union negotiators reached the agreement. Both groups had expected that the hospital's 400 registered nurses would ratify it, and 96 percent of those that voted approved of the deal according to Minnesota Nurses Association officials. ... Saint

Strike likely averted for Minnesota nurses

Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed.com, September 9, 2010 A tentative deal reached between nurses and a Minnesota hospital after more than 30 hours of negotiations might avert a one-day strike planned for Tuesday. The deal between the nurses union and officials from SDMC Medical Center was reached after a marathon bargaining session that began at 10 AM Tuesday and lasted until Wednesday, the Duluth News Tribune reported. The nurses still have to vote on the contract, but the "SMDC Nurses are expected to overwhelmingly ratify their new contract, which covers almost 1,000 RNs at the hospital, during their vote on September 10," the Minnesota Nurses Association ... said on its blog. ... Strike

SMDC, nurses hold contract talks late into the night

Duluth News Tribune, September 8, 2010 Talks between SMDC and the union representing its registered nurses were still continuing as of 9 PM Tuesday after starting at 10 in the morning. Negotiations had earlier broken down, but a federal mediator called the two sides back to the bargaining table after Saint Luke’s hospital and its registered nurses reached a tentative agreement last week. Like Saint Luke’s nurses, SMDC nurses have been offered three-year contracts with no wage increase the first year, 1 percent the second year and 2 percent the third year. But they were holding out for contract language regarding adequate staffing and safe patient care. If the two sides fail to reach agreement, nurses have voted to strike on Tuesday.

Negotiators for Duluth nurses return to table today

Stephanie Hemphill, Minnesota Public Radio, September 7, 2010 Duluth - Negotiators return to the bargaining table Tuesday to try to avoid a nurses' strike in Duluth. A federal mediator called the session two days after one Duluth hospital 900 nurses work at the remaining hospital system, Essentia Health, formerly SMDC Health Systems. The Minnesota Nurses Association has called a one-day strike for September 14. The nurses say their main concern is to have a bigger voice in closing units when staffing is dangerously low. Essentia Health said it needs to be a team decision. ... Negotiators

Duluth nurses set one-day strike for September 14

Bob Kelleher, Minnesota Public Radio, September 3, 2010 Duluth - The Minnesota Nurses Association has given a Duluth hospital system 10-day notice of a strike. More than 900 nurses are set to walk off the job at the former SMDC Health System, now known as Essentia Health. A 24-hour strike is set for Tuesday, September 14th. But first, a federal mediator has called both parties back to contract negotiations next Tuesday. MNA spokesman John Nemo said he's hoping for a resolution before the nurses strike. "We've been at this since May 6th," he said. ... Duluth

Essentia Health nurses give strike notice

Northland's NewsCenter, September 3, 2010 Nurses at Essentia Heath System, formerly SMDC, say they are going to strike. At a press conference this afternoon, Steve Strand, a spokesperson for the Minnesota Nurses Association said they gave their notice to the hospital and they will be striking on September 14th. The one-day strike will start 7 AM on the 14th and last till 7 AM on the 15th. Nurses from the Twin Cities will becoming to join in on the strike, and nurses from Saint Luke's were also invited to join the strike. Strand says nurses want similar contract language to what Saint Luke's nurses were able to get earlier this week. ... Essentia

Duluth nurses set strike date against Saint Mary’s Medical Center

Thomas Lee, MedCity News, September 3, 2010 Duluth - As nurses at Saint Luke’s Hospital in Duluth, Minnesota prepare to vote on a tentative contract agreement next week, their counterparts at Saint Mary’s Medical Center are also knee deep in preparations - for a one day strike. The Minnesota Nurses Association, which represents the 1,000 nurses at Saint Mary’s, filed an official 10 day strike notice, which means the nurses will walk September 14 if there is no deal. The union said it will resume bargaining with the hospital September 8 under federal mediation. ... Duluth

Nursing is about the patients, not the RNs

Michael Walke, Duluth, Duluth News Tribune, September 2, 2010 I’ve been following the drama of the possibility of a nurses’ strike, noting the placement of self-serving signs stating how nurses care for us. A pity they don’t take into account the licensed practical nurses, who refer to themselves as “low-paid nurses,” or to the nursing assistants, both of whom render the bulk of hands-on nursing care. I’ve worked in health care since 1965 at what was then Miller Memorial Hospital. It was my pleasure to go on in the 1980s and ’90s to be the administrator of Lake View Memorial Hospital in Two Harbors. ... Nursing

Nurses condemn Pawlenty refusal to accept federal health care funds

Workday Minnesota, September 1, 2010 Saint Paul - The president of the 20,000-member Minnesota Nurses Association condemned Governor Tim Pawlenty’s recent Executive Order directing state agencies to refuse all “discretionary participation” in the federal health care reform law. “This is truly an unconscionable decision by our governor. By doing this the governor will hurt Minnesota’s most vulnerable patients and undermine our efforts to save and create health care jobs in this state,” said MNA President Linda Hamilton. “Clearly, the actions by our governor put his political ambitions ahead of the health of Minnesotans.” ... Nurses

Negotiators for 400 nurses settle with Duluth's Saint Luke's hospital

Bob Kelleher, Minnesota Public Radio, September 1, 2010 Duluth - Negotiators for more than 400 registered nurses have reached a tentative contract agreement with Duluth's Saint Luke's hospital. The settlement comes after a grueling all-night negotiation; considered the last bargaining session between the two parties before nurses schedule a one-day strike. Nurse negotiator Cindy Prout said she was optimistic going into the session, and happy with the outcome. ... Negotiators

Nurses And Saint Luke's Hospital In Talks Today

KDAL, August 31, 2010 Duluth  -  There's another round of negotiations in Duluth today as nurses try to avoid a one-day strike. Talks between the nurses union and SMDC broke off last Wednesday with no reported progress. Now the union is back at the bargaining table with Saint Luke's Hospital under the eye of a federal mediator. Saint Luke's officials are only saying they hope an agreement can be reached today. The main issue appears to be nurse staffing levels. The nurses want more flexibility in situations where they feel they're being asked to take care of too many patients. The hospitals have responded that patient care is their top priority. The week before last, the nurses authorized a one-day strike which their union leaders have not yet called.

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