Minnesota nurses picket over pay, patient care

Thousands of Minnesota nurses are holding informational pickets across 11 hospitals Wednesday.

The picket, which the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) says is not a work stoppage and won’t affect hospital operations, is in response to what the MNA called a “crisis” in Minnesota hospitals.

MNA officials say picketing will happen at different times between 6:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Nurses are calling for changes like higher wages, increased diversity and inclusion initiatives, and more retention efforts, MNA said.

MNA said 15,000 Twin Cities and Twin Ports nurses are seeking new contracts that “put patients before profits.”

Contracts for Twin Cities nurses expire Wednesday, while contracts for nurses in Duluth and Superior expire June 30.

MNA officials have criticized hospital CEOs for cutting nurses and expenses and increasing costs for Minnesota patients, but say CEOs continue to make millions.

Allina Health told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS last week, “Allina Health values our employees and respects the Minnesota Nurses Association’s right to conduct informational picketing during contract negotiations.”

Similarly, the Twin Cities Hospital group released a statement saying they’ve “engaged in good-faith negotiations to reach a fair and equitable agreement.”

They added, “We will continue to bring forth proposals that recognize the efforts of our nurses.”

Check back for updates and video of the pickets.