The Minnesota Nurses Association signed a three-year collective bargaining agreement with 14 Twin Cities hospitals on July 6, just days before a strike deadline set by the union.
The hospitals had sought the right to “float” registered nurses to any hospital at any time, but eventually backed off that demand and a proposal to modify nurse pensions. Pension funding remains unchanged under the new agreement.
The union gave in on strict patient-to-nurse ratios. Instead, the contract promises that existing committees at the various hospitals will examine staffing issues throughout the life of the contract.
Federal mediators assisted in the negotiations after the nurses staged a one-day strike on June 10. With 12,000 nurses participating in the walk-out, it was the largest nurses’ strike in U.S. history.
The Minnesota Nurses Association is affiliated with National Nurses United (NNU), a new nationwide labor union spearheaded by the California Nurses Association. Begun in 2009, the NNU is the nation’s largest nurses’ union.