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St. Luke’s, MNA fail to reach contract agreement; strike vote scheduled for Thursday

DULUTH, MN — A strike vote for St. Luke’s nurses has been scheduled for Thursday, September 12th.

This comes after the bargaining team for St. Luke’s nurses and hospital management did not come to a contract agreement at Wednesday evenings meeting.

The Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) says the hospital has failed to provide an offer that will bring nurses to the hospital, retain current nurses, and provide safe staffing on every shift.

Pete Boycheko a nurse at St. Lukes and is part of the bargaining team says, “We worked, we tried, we guided and at the end of the morning in the wee hour’s management just has still not shown that they are willing to put out a contract that will meet those goals.”

St. Luke’s most recent proposal would keep PTO for new nurses, grant supervisors control of
whether to call in nurses for an emergency, and make the Extra Shift bonus temporary.

The vote to strike comes after nurses from Essentia and St. Lukes held picketing events last month.

Meanwhile, Essentia nurses recently ratified a tentative three-year contract with their hospital, which includes:

Boycheko says, “Even if we get the authorization we are still willing to go back to the table because we want to have a contract that is safe for our patients and good for our nurses.”

Nurses say they hope to come to an agreement so they can get back to caring for their patients.

If approved, the strike would authorize the bargaining team to call for an Unfair Labor Practices strike.

If nurses vote yes on a strike they must give ten days’ notice to the hospital before the strike happens.

St. Luke’s President & CEO Kevin Nokels released a statement saying,

Emma Quinn

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