Nurses at 15 Minnesota hospitals They went on strike for three days this week to let management know they are serious about the issues they are bringing to the bargaining table. In addition to salary increases, nurses are seeking improvements in staffing, retention and safety, and respect as professionals with legitimate contributions to the care of their patients. With around 15,000 people, this may have been the largest private sector nurses’ strike in history.
speaking at a press conferenceone nurse attributed the 500 or so nurses who have left Minnesota Children’s Hospital’s St. Paul campus in recent years to “the moral anguish of not being able to provide the care and quality they believe their children deserve.”
While the nurses’ strike was for a set number of days, the Seattle teachers’ strike that ended this week was all about winning a contract before going back to work. Teachers were on strike beginning September 7, which had been scheduled as the first day of school, seeking to protect the student-teacher ratio in special education classes, reduce class sizes that in some cases exceeded 40 students, block staff cuts especially target substitutes and paraprofessionals, and get cost of living adjustments that truly reflect cost of living. The negotiating teams reached a tentative agreement on September 12 and the members ratified it on September 13.