A year after strike, Allina nurses seek mediation for new contract

One year after ending their strike against Allina Health, nurses at several Twin Cities hospitals are asking a federal mediator to help them resolve a simmering dispute.

The Minnesota Nurses Association said Allina pledged to work toward ending mandatory patient care assignments for nurses in charge of running a ward. The union said so-called charge nurses don't have enough time to take care of individual patients.

"For patient safety it just isn't appropriate for a charge nurse to be responsible for those charge nurse roles and also be responsible for delivering excellent patient care," said United Hospital charge nurse Emily Sippola.

Allina spokesman David Kanihan rejected the union allegations and said charge nurses are responsible for patient care only occasionally, primarily on the night shift, and that in many cases it is the charge nurse's choice.

"We are disappointed the union has chosen to disregard the constructive dialogue we have had, and instead return to their divisive tactics," Kanihan said.

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