Essentia Health recognizes the MNA as the union representing the more than 50 nurses at Moose Lake. There was not an MNA contract in place with Essentia Health when it assumed Moose Lake operations as of August 1, 2020. 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 – September 6, 2022 Update

Essentia Health and the Minnesota Nurses Association met in person again today for contract negotiations. The parties advanced the few remaining outstanding non-economic items and reached agreement on all scheduling issues with the exception of on-call. No tentative agreements were reached; however, we feel important progress was made and that we are in a position to move negotiations forward productively. The next bargaining session is scheduled for September 28.

Essentia Health and Minnesota Nurses Association Bargaining – September 1, 2022 Update

Essentia Health urges mediation to reach agreement with MNA

Today Essentia Heath issued this news release regarding the MNA strike notification:

Along with several other health systems across the state, Essentia Health on Thursday received a 10-day strike notice from the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA). This impacts hospitals in Duluth, Superior and Moose Lake.


We are disappointed that the MNA has called a strike. It is our belief that we have a shared responsibility to care for the communities we’re privileged to serve. At Essentia, we’re proud to have some of the finest nurses in the world; they are an integral part of that commitment. We look forward to reaching an agreement that benefits them while continuing to provide expert, compassionate — and uninterrupted — care for our patients.


Progress has been made in talks, but significant gaps remain.
The MNA is seeking a 32.5% wage increase over three years. Essentia offers competitive wages, sign-on and shift bonuses, tuition reimbursement/assistance and numerous other benefits. A 32.5% wage increase on top of that package is not sustainable. We are currently offering a 10% wage increase over three years.


Because of these gaps, we have repeatedly requested mediation, which the union has consistently declined.


Please note that today’s notice does not guarantee a strike will occur. Essentia will continue to negotiate in good faith in pursuit of a mutually beneficial agreement that supports quality patient care and good local jobs. Additional bargaining sessions are scheduled for next week.


Essentia’s hospitals will remain open and accessible throughout this process. Should a strike occur, we have contingency staffing plans in place to preserve our ability to deliver the highest standards of patient care.


In response to today’s announcement, Essentia joined other Minnesota health systems in filing an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The MNA failed to give the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services a required notice. It is our hope that by filing this charge we can return our focus to the bargaining table; we must exhaust every option to avoid a work stoppage. That is why we took this step.


We respect the MNA’s right to call a legal strike. But they have not done so in this case, and we have a responsibility to provide patient care without disruption. The MNA would challenge any perceived failure to follow regulatory process on our part. We are holding them to the same level of accountability and urging them to continue bargaining with us.

Essentia Health and Minnesota Nurses Association Moose Lake Bargaining, August 22 Update

Essentia Health and the Minnesota Nurses Association met again today for contract negotiations. The session was conducted in-person following previous virtual sessions.

The session focused on a number of outstanding items, including proposals on retirement and insurance. After constructive discussion, Essentia shared a more detailed proposal related to scheduling and the two sides exchanged proposals on other items through the afternoon.

Essentia remains committed to bargaining in good faith to reach a mutually beneficial agreement as quickly as possible. The next bargaining session is scheduled for September 28, with the teams looking for additional dates before then.

Essentia Health and Minnesota Nurses Association Bargaining – August 19, 2022 Update

Patient care is our primary concern and Essentia Health is proud to have some of the best nurses in the country.

We are disappointed that nurses represented by the MNA have voted to authorize a strike. Please note, however, that this vote does not mean a strike is imminent; it gives union leaders the ability to call a strike should they choose that path.

We believe no one wins in a strike – and that we have a shared responsibility to provide quality care to the patients and communities we are privileged to serve. Should it become necessary, we have contingency plans to ensure we can continue to care for our patients in the event of an MNA strike.

We are confident we can reach a new agreement that continues to support quality patient care and good local jobs because of our strong track record of reaching mutually beneficial agreements. In the past five years, Essentia Health has successfully negotiated more than 60 agreements with eight different unions representing 44 bargaining units across our facilities. This includes reaching agreements with the other five bargaining units representing employees in Moose Lake.

Essentia remains committed to reaching an agreement as quickly as possible, leading to an enhanced work experience for MNA-represented nurses at Essentia facilities while continuing to support high-quality patient care. We welcome the participation of a professional labor mediator who can assist the parties in finding common ground toward reaching an agreement. The next bargaining session is scheduled for August 22.

Essentia Health and Minnesota Nurses Association Moose Lake Bargaining, July 26 Update

Essentia Health and the Minnesota Nurses Association met again today for contract negotiations. The meeting was cordial, and the parties discussed scheduling in detail as well as other non-economic issues. Essentia remains committed to bargaining in good faith to reach a mutually beneficial agreement as quickly as possible. The next bargaining session is scheduled for August 22.

Essentia Health and Minnesota Nurses Association Moose Lake Bargaining, June 8 Update

6/8/22

Essentia Health and the Minnesota Nurses Association met again today for contract negotiations. The parties made some progress, including reaching a tentative agreement on low-need staffing, and plan to continue discussions at the next bargaining session, scheduled for July 26.

Essentia Health and Minnesota Nurses Association Moose Lake Bargaining, April 26 Update

4/26/22

Essentia Health and the Minnesota Nurses Association continued contract discussions on April 26, when the MNA shared proposals for scheduling and low need staffing. We are looking for dates to meet next so we can progress toward a mutually beneficial agreement.

Essentia Health and Minnesota Nurses Association Moose Lake Bargaining, April 12 Update

4/12/22

Essentia Health and the Minnesota Nurses Association continue meeting and making progress toward a new mutually agreeable contract. We look forward to continuing negotiations in our next session, scheduled for April 26.

 

 

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.

Essentia Health recognizes the MNA as the union representing the more than 50 nurses at Moose Lake, but there was not an MNA contract in place with Essentia Health when it assumed Moose Lake operations as of August 1, 2020. Essentia Health and the MNA are setting initial terms and conditions of employment with these negotiations at Moose Lake for a new labor agreement.

Essentia Health and the MNA resumed Moose Lake bargaining on Tuesday, April 12, 2022, and will continue meeting periodically as negotiations progress.

Essentia Health has a history of reaching successful agreements with the MNA across our system, and we are committed to reaching a similar outcome in Moose Lake. 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 Moose Lake in a deliberate way through the usual process of bargaining in good faith. We will update you with any significant developments in negotiations.

Still Have a Question?

For additional information or relevant questions not addressed here, email the Essentia Health team at bargaining@essentiahealth.org.