Tuesday Marks Second Day of Allina Nurses' Strike

Tuesday Marks Second Day of Allina Nurses' Strike

About 4,800 nurses at those hospitals are represented by the Minnesota Nurses Association, which called the strike that began at 7 a.m. Monday.

Union members from five Twin Cities hospitals hit the picket lines for seven days in June because of a dispute over health benefits.

Allina has not responded to the nurses' last offer, submitted at 5:15 a.m. Saturday, the union said.

Allina says it has brought in around 1,500 temporary nurses, and that it plans to operate the affected hospitals at normal capacity during the strike.

The union met with management Friday to negotiate a new three-year contract with federal mediators. Allina's latest health insurance proposal still shifts too many costs onto nurses and doesn't recognize concessions already made by the union, Roach said.

Almost 5,000 nurses are on strike in Minnesota following a breakdown in contract talks.

The switch would "save" $10 million a year, according to Allina.

The others are United Hospital in St. Paul, Phillips Eye Institute in Minneapolis, Unity Hospital in Fridley and Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids.

In recent negotiations, the MNA agreed to transition from two of its nurses-only plans by January 1, 2017, and to transition from the remaining two plans by January 1, 2020.

"They're also working side by side with all the regular caregivers - the physicians, the therapists, the pharmacists - all those other folks who make up these care teams".

That mirrors a national trend toward shifting costs on to employees with higher deductibles and patients picking up more out-of-pocket costs. The MNA wants all nurses to have access to the same plans until they are phased out.

"When the union chooses to take its nurses off the job we have a commitment to the communities we serve, and we have to fulfill that commitment", Kanihan remarked. Allina is only willing to promise negotiations on the value of its most popular plan, the First plan, and only wants its own actuary to determine this.

MNA and Allina continue to disagree on nurses' health insurance, which has been a central point of conflict since contract negotiations began in February. Penny Wheeler, Allina's president and CEO, was at the Health Catalyst conference in Utah along with Dr. While it gives participants discounts at Allina and partner facilities, participants have access to many other providers nationwide, the company says. The union also wanted contract bonuses of at least $1,000 to compensate for losing their union health plans, the report states.

Tentative agreements have been reached on other issues.

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