Nurses to vote on open-ended strike


Citing an “illegal selective lockout” of hundreds of nurses following last Thursday’s one-day strike, the Minnesota Nurses Association has scheduled a vote Monday on an open-ended walkout. “Your Bargaining Team recommends that RNs stand strong for their patients and their profession by voting ‘yes’ for an open-ended unfair labor practice strike,” the MNA said in fliers posted at worksites. “The vote will be on Monday, June 21. Times and locations to be announced shortly. 

“On Friday morning, hundreds of RNs at Allina and Children’s Hospitals were not able to return to work because their employers are conducting an illegal selective lockout. Many still wait for a call back.”

The union has scheduled meetings this week to discuss the vote. The union would need to provide 10 days’ notice before a strike could occur.

The MNA has filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board over the hospitals’ decision not to call back some RNs in the days after the strike. If the charges are upheld and an unfair labor practice strike is declared, the nurses could not be permanently replaced and would be entitled to the pay they would have received if they were working.

No bargaining sessions are scheduled as 12,000 Twin Cities nurses continue to work without a contract at 14 hospitals. Nurses called the June 10 walkout to put pressure on employers to implement nurse-patient ratios they say are needed to provide safe staffing and quality patient care. It was the largest strike by nurses in U.S. history.