Nurses in Plymouth return after three-day strike

Allina Health said it's pleased to have emergency and urgent care staff back at work at its WestHealth facility in Plymouth, Minn., after nurses walked off the job at 7 a.m. Sunday as part of a three-day strike.

Nurse leaders say they have been negotiating with Allina since May. They're seeking a new contract with better pay and benefits.

The Minnesota Nurses Association says during the pandemic, Allina WestHealth nurses have been required to work more days and longer hours. Holiday pay is a big sticking point, says Sonya Worner, a registered nurse and union negotiator.

Nurses are paid time and a half for Christmas and Thanksgiving, said Worner, but the higher pay does not apply to other holidays.

In a statement, Allina said it has negotiated seven times with nurses and offered wage increases that align with wages at other metro hospitals. The health system says at a moment when hospitals throughout the state are short staffed and dealing with COVID-19 cases, a work stoppage benefits no one.

Allina said it’s offering what it calls "a comprehensive contract." Both sides say they hope to get back to negotiations to resolve the dispute.

This story was originally published on Oct. 17.

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