Negotiation Updates and Recent News

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Alongside nurses, we are committed to reaching a fair and equitable contract agreement for union nurses and our organizations. With the constant change in health care, all those who work in healthcare need to adapt to how we serve people. We need a contract agreement that allows flexibility to protect the high-quality health care the community has come to know and rely on. Here’s a general update on contract negotiations as of September 15, 2022:

Nurses’ union rejects mediation: Our hospitals have asked the nurses’ union to join us in mediation to help reach a fair and equitable agreement. A trained mediator can help parties focus on the key elements needed to move forward together. However, the nurses’ union has rejected all our requests for mediation.

Non-Economic Issues

Workplace Safety: Every hospital employee deserves to work in an environment safe for employees, patients, and visitors alike. Several hospitals have reached tentative agreements with the nurses’ union on revised workplace safety measures. Working together, we’re all committed to safety.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Several of our hospitals have reached tentative agreements with the nurses’ union on practices related to diversity, equity, and inclusion measures in our hospitals.

Economic Issues

Wages: The nurses’ union’s initial wage demand sought to increase wages by 39 percent over a three-year contract (compounded more than 44 percent over the contract’s life). As of September 15, the nurses current wage demands remain between 27 and 30 percent over three years. Increases like this would cost hundreds of millions of dollars across Twin Cities Hospitals and are not economically feasible or responsible to our community members who would ultimately pay the price.

Our four of our hospitals have responded with fair and reasonable opening wage offers that reflect percentages found in the most recent agreement that nurses overwhelmingly ratified. These opening offers reflect between an 8 and 9 percent increase over the life of a three-year contract.

Since the opening offers, our hospitals have proposed increases between 10 and 12 percent over three years. These proposed increases are in addition to step increases nurses receive that add approximately 3 percent on average to a nurse’s pay. We anticipate further negotiations over wages and await the nurses’ union responses to our wage proposals.

Nurses in Minnesota rank among the most highly compensated in the nation, regularly in the top ten among all the states. The average Minnesota nurse earns $80,960 annually and receives generous health care and pension benefits.

Wage Comparison

Mediation 

The nurses’ union seems intent on rushing into a strike without first exhausting all options to reach a fair and equitable agreement. The union has steadfastly rejected multiple requests from the hospitals to join in mediation. Mediation brings in a neutral third-party trained to help parties reach an agreement.