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Allina Health is offering its nurses a new contract proposal and has invited Minnesota Nurses Association union representatives back to the bargaining table following a 7-day strike. The union told Fox 9 they were "surprised" to hear of a new offer, adding that approximately 200 nurses still haven't been called back to work.
On June 19, about 4,800 nurses began picketing outside Abbott Northwestern, Phillips Eye Institute, Mercy, United and Unity hospitals, all operated by Allina Health.
One of the major points of contention is a possible change to nurses' health insurance. Allina says its new offer extends the two most-most nurse-only health insurance plans to Dec. 31, 2019. After that date, all nurses would move to plans that offered to all Allina employees.
Allina says its new offer also includes "much of the union's most recent proposal on workplace safety, including the opportunity for focused workplace safety discussions via the Labor-Management Committees."
"Now that our nurses are back at the bedside, we need to get back to the bargaining table," said Allina Health President and CEO Dr. Penny Wheeler. "The proposal we are making today shows Allina Health is prepared to have an open, constructive dialog on the issues that both have identified as important to an agreement. I sincerely hope the union agrees to meet with us as soon as possible this week so we can move forward."
Allina hired more than 1,000 replacement nurses to work during the strike.