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Two Harbors nurses join strike authorization vote, agreement reached in Moose Lake

Two more hospitals join nurses' strike authorization vote
Two more hospitals join nurses' strike authorization vote 00:26

TWO HARBORS, Minn. -- Nurses from a northern Minnesota hospitals say they're joining in on the strike authorization vote happening Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Essentia Health said it has reached a "tentative agreement" with nurses in Moose Lake, so those nurses will not be joining in on the vote.

The strike vote will involve 14 facilities and thousands of nurses.

These workers say they've been working without a contract since the end of September.

In September, members of the Minnesota Nurses Association went on a three-day strike. After that, they said they were hopeful they could get back to the bargaining table and get a deal done, but that hasn't happened yet.

Earlier this month, the MNA announced another strike authorization vote.

The Twin Cities hospital group coalition said it is committed to reaching a fair and equitable contract agreement. The coalition also said it has suggested mediation, but the nurses' union continues to reject that idea.  

Essentia Health released the following statement about the agreement with Moose Lake nurses:

"Essentia Health is pleased to have reached a tentative agreement with our MNA-represented nurses in Moose Lake. Both parties worked hard at the bargaining table in pursuit of a contract that benefits our nurses, our organization and - most importantly - our patients. This outcome exemplifies what is possible through good-faith negotiations. It also ensures that these nursing jobs will remain among the best in the Moose Lake area.

"We're proud to have some of the finest nurses in the country, and we appreciate their dedication to providing the highest level of patient care in support of Essentia's mission to make a healthy difference in people's lives.

"As part of this tentative agreement, the MNA negotiating committee has agreed to recommend ratification and will hold a ratification vote on or before Dec. 9. The tentative agreement also indicates that the Moose Lake location will not participate in a strike authorization vote on Nov. 30."

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