Nurses at HCMC hold informational picket

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Nurses at Hennepin County Medical Center are holding an informational picket outside the hospital Monday as contract negotiations continue.

Nurses say the big change they want to see is more staff inside the hospital.

The Minnesota Nurses Association says the nurses want hospital leaders to address the retention rate, safety concerns and lack of staffing.

They’re asking for similar things as the other 15,000 nurses within the union who voted last week to authorize a strike following months of failed negotiations.

Monday’s picket outside HCMC is not tied to that vote.

Instead, HCMC nurses are in wage re-opener negotiations with the county health system, which is in a window of time part-way through an existing contract to only address wages.

HCMC issued the following response regarding Monday’s picket:

“Peaceful picketing in public places, such as a sidewalk, is a protected First Amendment activity and we support our employees’ right to express themselves.”

Hennepin County Medical Center

Nurses began picketing outside in front of the hospital starting at 7 a.m., and are expected to picket again at 2 p.m.

The picket isn’t expected to affect hospital staffing.