Essentia Health recognizes the MNA as the union representing 250 nurses at Essentia Health-St. Joseph Medical Center. Negotiations are scheduled to begin on Wednesday, November 9, 2022. Essentia Health is committed to working through the usual process of bargaining in good faith to come to a mutually agreeable contract.
Essentia Health and Minnesota Nurses Association Bargaining – February 15, 2023 Update
We are glad to announce that Brainerd nurses represented by the Minnesota Nurses Association voted on Tuesday, February 14, to approve a new labor agreement with Essentia Health. The three-year contract covers about 250 nurses working at Essentia Health-St. Joseph Medical Center.
The agreement benefits our valued nurses and allows us to continue providing high-quality care close to home for the patients we are privileged to serve in Brainerd and the surrounding communities.
Essentia Health and Minnesota Nurses Association Bargaining – February 14, 2023 Update
We are pleased to announce Essentia Health and the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract that covers about 250 nurses working at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd. This positive outcome is the result of good faith bargaining during negotiations, which began in November 2022.
The MNA has shared details of the tentative agreement with its membership and is conducting a ratification vote today, which is an internal union process. We will communicate the results of that vote when we learn them.
We appreciate the hard work of the bargaining teams to reach a mutually agreeable contract that supports our commitment to providing high-quality health care for our patients and communities. At Essentia, we are privileged to have skilled, compassionate nurses, and we value their contributions to make a healthy difference in people’s lives.
Essentia Health and Minnesota Nurses Association Bargaining – February 9 & 10, 2023 Update
Essentia Health and the MNA conducted two days of lengthy discussions on Thursday and Friday. The parties discussed staffing, wages and other economic proposals. Essentia’s current proposal includes a 17% increase over the three-year term of the contract.
- Year 1: 7% across-the-board increase.
- Year 2: 6% across-the-board increase.
- Year 3: 4% across-the-board increase.
- Essentia also offered a counter staffing proposal which addresses concerns from nurses and creates a structured process to provide meaningful input into staffing.
- Tiered Pickup Bonus – designed to fill shifts earlier and provide more certainty on scheduling by offering:
- $25 per hour for shifts open when schedule is posted.
- $20 per hour for shifts open after schedule is posted but more than 48 hours before start time.
- 1.5x rate of pay for shifts open with less than 48 hours before start time.
- Essentia also committed to implementing patterned and self-scheduling for nurses.
Other Economic Proposals
- On-Call Pay – increased to minimum wage or higher.
- Preceptor Pay – introduced $1.00 per hour while precepting.
- BSN – improved to $1.00, effective first full pay period after ratification.
- Charge Pay – improved to $2.00 per hour.
- Certification pay – improved to $0.75 per hour.
- Education funds – significantly increased reimbursement for education.
The union ended discussions after midnight on Friday. While it is unfortunate an agreement was not reached, we look forward to the MNA’s response to Essentia’s full proposal. The next bargaining session is tentatively scheduled for February 23.
Essentia Health and Minnesota Nurses Association Bargaining – February 3, 2023 Update
Essentia Health and the MNA met today to conduct bargaining in Brainerd. The parties engaged in lengthy discussions on a variety of issues important to nurses. Essentia countered on the union’s scheduling package, staffing, and open shift proposals. Near the end of the day, the MNA offered a counter on scheduling. We are reviewing that proposal and now await further responses to our proposals on economics, staffing, and open shift. We look forward to our next bargaining sessions on February 9 and 10.
Essentia Health and Minnesota Nurses Association Bargaining – January 24, 2023 Update
Following the last negotiation session, the bargaining committees for Essentia and the MNA agreed to add a virtual negotiation session today to continue bargaining in advance of its next scheduled meetings. There were productive conversations, and much of the time was spent on tiered shift bonuses.
Late in the day, the MNA presented a counter proposal on staffing and another on scheduling. We are reviewing the proposals and will respond during the next session.
We remain committed to the bargaining process and are confident we can reach a mutually beneficial agreement. The next bargaining sessions are scheduled for February 3, 9 and 10.
Essentia Health and Minnesota Nurses Association Bargaining – January 20, 2023 Update
Essentia Health and the MNA met yesterday and today to conduct bargaining in Brainerd. We reached tentative agreements on certification pay and holiday pay for casuals. The MNA shared a presentation on its current staffing proposal on Thursday, to which Essentia responded today, leading to extensive conversations.
The parties also exchanged proposals on shift bonus structure and wages. We remain committed to the bargaining process and look forward to continuing negotiations at the table, scheduled for February 3, 9 and 10. We’ve asked the MNA for additional dates before then.
Essentia Health and Minnesota Nurses Association Bargaining – January 3, 2023 Update
Essentia Health and the MNA met for the sixth time today to conduct bargaining in Brainerd. The parties exchanged proposals on bonuses for shift pick-ups and vacation scheduling.
Essentia and the MNA also discussed the initial wage proposal Essentia provided at the last bargaining session. Limited progress was made because the union did not offer a counter proposal on wages until the end of the day. We are reviewing the MNA’s proposal and hope for a more serious discussion about wages in the next bargaining session.
The parties also discussed staffing, and the MNA said it would prepare a presentation on its current staffing proposal for the next bargaining session.
We remain committed to the negotiations process and are confident we can reach a mutually beneficial agreement.
The next bargaining sessions are scheduled for January 19 and 20. We have requested additional dates from the MNA.
Essentia Health and Minnesota Nurses Association Bargaining – December 12, 2022 Update
Essentia Health and the MNA met to conduct bargaining today in Brainerd. Essentia Health provided a full counter proposal to address all issues on the table and Essentia’s first proposal on economic issues. The MNA returned with its own full counter proposal at the end of the day. While the parties remain far apart on several issues, conversations today were cordial, and we look forward to continuing progress at the bargaining table at the next session scheduled for January 3. We are looking for potential dates before then.
Essentia Health and Minnesota Nurses Association Bargaining – December 9, 2022 Update
Essentia Health and the MNA conducted bargaining today in Brainerd. There were open, productive conversations about vacation, scheduling, and modified shift pickup bonus plans. Essentia and the MNA each provided counter proposals on the topics discussed. Essentia plans to make an initial wage offer at the next bargaining session scheduled for Monday, December 12.
Essentia Health and Minnesota Nurses Association Bargaining – December 7, 2022 Update
Essentia Health and the MNA conducted bargaining today in Brainerd. There were productive conversations about scheduling, open shifts and vacation sign-up requests. Essentia provided a counter to the MNA’s vacation request proposal, and we plan to discuss more about scheduling and open shifts at the next bargaining session on December 9. We appreciate the thoughtful dialogue with the MNA at today’s bargaining session and look forward to continuing constructive discussions to reach a new agreement.
Essentia Health and Minnesota Nurses Association Bargaining – November 16, 2022 Update
Essentia Health and the MNA conducted bargaining today where the parties discussed Essentia’s proposal on Paid Time Off, Holidays, Bereavement, and Short-term Disability, and there was good interaction. The session today was only scheduled for the morning. The parties agreed on specific topics to be discussed at the next session on December 7, including scheduling and staffing. We look forward to making progress at that next bargaining session.
Essentia Health and Minnesota Nurses Association Bargaining – November 9, 2022 Update
Essentia Health and the MNA opened discussions today toward a new agreement in Brainerd. The two parties traded initial proposals, and Essentia answered questions from the MNA. We are look forward to continuing to work to find mutually agreeable solutions to the issues that are important to our nurses and the local community. We were eager to come to the table today after offering many dates and being unable to find an earlier date that worked for both teams. Our next bargaining session is scheduled for Nov. 16.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below is a representative sample of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the bargaining process and what it means for MNA and Essentia Health.
The current Brainerd agreement covers more than 250 nurses at Essentia Health–St. Joseph’s Medical Center.
Essentia Health will begin bargaining with the MNA in Brainerd on Wednesday, November 9. Essentia Health has a history of reaching successful agreements with the MNA across our system, and we are focused on reaching a similar outcome in Brainerd this year.
Our MNA agreement in Brainerd expired on October 31, 2022.
We are privileged to have some of the best nurses in the country, and we are committed to reaching a mutually agreeable settlement that supports our Mission of being called to make a healthy difference in people’s lives. We are committed to providing a safe work environment, keeping Essentia nursing jobs among the best in the communities we are privileged to serve, and supporting excellence in patient care.
We also remain committed to providing seamless, high-quality care to our patients and their families while we work through the bargaining process.
Essentia Health is committed to working through a range of issues of interest to both parties in Brainerd in a deliberate way through the usual process of bargaining in good faith.
Yes, we will continue to provide appropriate updates on the process in Brainerd.
That includes posting more FAQs and providing updates after each bargaining session to help ensure that our nurses and others stay informed.
Still Have a Question?
For additional information or relevant questions not addressed here, email the Essentia Health team at firstname.lastname@example.org.