St. Luke’s nurses file notice to strike

DULUTH, MN — Less than a week after authorizing a strike if an agreement isn’t reached with St. Luke’s Hospital, the Minnesota Nurses Association says nurses announced Monday it has filed a notice with St. Luke’s Hospital saying they will go on strike if an agreement isn’t met.

The MNA says nurses will hold a one-day strike on October 3 if the agreement isn’t reached by 7 a.m. on that date.

According to the MNA, nurses decided to hold a strike beyond the required 10-day notice to give negotiations more time and dates needed to reach an agreement.

The MNA and St. Luke’s will again meet at the bargaining table on September 20.

Last Thursday, nurses rejected an offer by St. Luke’s after a 17 hour negotiation session.

MNA nurses at St. Luke’s have been in negotiations for several months, and have been working without a contract since July 1.

MNA has filed Unfair Labor Practices (ULPs) with the National Labor Relations Board against St. Luke’s due to the alleged failure to bargain fairly with nurses. This filing comes after claims of unlawful surveillance of union activity and interfering with nurses’ ability to attend union meetings.

The nurses are also fighting the hospital’s proposal to take away earned sick and vacation time from newly hired nurses in place of a Paid Time Off program.

St. Luke’s issued a statement on Friday, saying they’re “disappointed with the strike authorization.”

They also went on to say 2019 has been a financially challenging year for the hospital, and that a strike could put them even further in the hole.

RELATED: Essentia St. Luke’s nurses hold informational picket in Duluth

RELATED: Essentia and St. Luke’s nurses plan informational pickets around hospitals

Krystal Frasier

Krystal Frasier

Social Media and Digital Content Manager

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