Nurses continue strike at Allina Health clinic in Plymouth

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Dozens of local nurses are starting the new work week on strike.

A labor dispute with Allina Health is impacting Abbot Northwestern’s WestHealth location in Plymouth. It’s forcing the closure of the emergency room and urgent care.

Nurses at WestHealth were outside the Plymouth clinic on Sunday, and they plan to continue picketing through Wednesday.

During that time, the emergency room and urgent care units are shut down because the nurses who would be working are outside picketing.

Nurses told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS they never wanted it to come to this and believe it could have all been avoided.

"We are trying to reason with Allina and say please hear us," Sonya Worner, registered nurse at the WestHealth location, said. "We want this over and I believe they want it over too."

Carrie Borris, registered nurse at the WestHealth location, also said, "It’s time to stand up and say we need to be respected with regards to our wages and Allina needs to see that."

Nurses say contract negotiations with Allina Health stopped after they couldn’t agree on holiday pay.

The Minnesota Nurses Association has met with Allina seven times since May.

They’re pushing for time-and-a-half when they work summer holidays like Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day.

Nurses told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS every other contract in Allina receives summer holiday pay and they want their contracts to reflect other nurses around the metro.

Allina offered the following statement, saying, in part:

At a time when hospitals are under significant pressure throughout the state and country due to sustained high volumes from COVID-19 and other acute illness, a work stoppage benefits no one. It is our preference to reach an agreement on a new contract that prioritizes the health needs of the community and sustainably recognizes the contributions of our employees.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has also heard from lawmakers who have joined the picket line to stand up for nurses.

"You’re not just fighting for you. When we do this together, we are fighting for all of the nurses, all of labor by saying, together, we’re going to stick up for ourselves and one another and make sure our work is recognized and rewarded so we can support ourselves and our family," state Sen. Erin Murphy, who is a registered nurse herself, said.

Nurses said Allina has already asked them to come back to work Wednesday, which they say they plan to do. The strike is expected to officially end at 7 a.m. Wednesday.