MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Thousands of nurses plan to picket in a few weeks as contract negotiations continue at several hospitals.
Some nurses were creating posters on Saturday to keep the line. They say they are overworked, understaffed and that patients pay too much for medical care.
“Our health care system is in critical condition,” said RN and president of the Minnesota Nurses Association, Mary C. Turner. “Hospital executives with million-dollar salaries have created a staffing and retention crisis that is driving nurses away from the bedside.
Nurses say that, in the end, better contracts mean better care for patients. They plan to hold an information picket on June 1.
The union says 15,000 nurses in the Twin Cities and Duluth area are negotiating new contracts. Current Twin Cities nurse contracts expire May 31, while Twin Ports nurse contracts expire June 30.
The Twin Cities Hospitals group says they respect the right of nurses to picket. “For the past several weeks, we have been engaged in good faith negotiations to reach a fair and equitable settlement. We will continue to submit proposals that recognize the efforts of our nurses, the realities of the business environment, and the need to continually reshape the way health care is delivered to the community we serve,” the group said in a statement.