‘Disappointed’ healthcare and hospital workers brace for nurses’ strike on Monday

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'Disappointed' healthcare and hospital workers brace for nurses' strike on Monday
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ST. LOUIS PARK, Minnesota — About 15,000 nurses plan to strike in Minnesota on Monday in what could be the largest nurses’ strike in US history. Contract negotiations broke down over the weekend, prompting the three-day strike.

“I am disappointed,” said Methodist Hospital nurse Victoria Zeehandelaar.

Victoria Zeehandelaar plans to picket outside her workplace on Monday with her colleagues. Sixteen hospitals from seven health systems will be affected by the strike.

Paul Omodt, spokesman for the Twin Cities Hospital Group, which includes Children’s Minnesota, North Memorial Health, Fairview Health and Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital, said thousands of nurses across the country will work during the strike to keep hospitals open. and operate as close to normal as possible.

“We are starting with new people who have been and will be trained, we have to expect delays in our hospitals, we have to expect hiccups because that’s just the nature of the business every day,” Omodt said. .

Allina Health said patients will be contacted directly if their appointments change during the strike.

“While we are doing everything possible to minimize disruption to patient care, our hospitals continue to be full and we are preparing to make the necessary adjustments to ensure that we meet the emerging and ongoing needs of the community in terms of health care,” a spokesperson said. .

The Minnesota Nurses Association and the hospitals are at odds on a number of issues, from salaries to staffing and safety.

“What they are asking for, salary increases is not something hospitals can afford,” Omodt said.

Zeehandelaar said the economy is not the main problem to be solved.

“We are not on strike because of our salaries, we are on strike because we want to ensure that our patients receive the best quality care possible and the basis of this is appropriate staffing levels,” she said. declared.

Nurses from various health systems will begin the strike at 7 a.m. Monday morning. They will picket in front of hospitals until evening for the duration of the strike.

President of the Nurses Association of Minnesota Mary Turner spoke to WCCO on Sunday morning.

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