#205 – Dick Bernard: The Looming Twin Cities Nurses Strike: Apparently Settled

Overnight came a bulletin from the Minnesota Nurses Association, announcing a tentative agreement between Twin Cities Nurses and the Hospitals which employ them. The vote is next week, on the same day the strike was to begin. It is very good news, for everyone involved.
Having spent a long career as a teachers union representative in a state with the right to strike, my career included plenty of time dealing with, especially, ‘deaths door’ and extremely tense mediations to hopefully settle a contract in lieu of a strike, I “know the drill” – the public posturing, the reality faced by both the union and the management as they get closer to a strike. What the public has to chew on is usually “the tip of the iceberg”.
Among many items to deal with, both sides know well the multiple grim realities of walkouts. I know the Minnesota Nurses Association is a first-class union. The management team, whoever it was, knew it was time to settle, and did, to their credit as well. Oftimes, people on one side or the other get stuck in ideological cement, and the results are not pretty.
Until I read the news release, I really wasn’t positive which hospitals were facing a possible strike. Turned out one of them was Park Nicollet Methodist, which is the place I visited the patient on Wednesday (recounted towards the end of yesterday’s blog post . There was not a single indication, there, that labor and management were bracing for a work stoppage in a conflict over contract terms.
I would suspect that the tension is not over, nor will it be over after the expected ratification of terms and conditions next week. Both sides will be faced with ongoing hard work and difficult decisions.
Nonetheless, congratulations are in order!