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Negotiations

  • Nurses vote yes to contract; return to work begins soon

    On Thursday, Oct. 13, Allina Health nurses voted yes to the tentative agreement reached earlier this week by Allina Health and their union, the Minnesota Nurses Association. We are pleased that the contract has been ratified and will return nurses to work as quickly as possible.

    By noon on Friday, Oct. 14, nurses will be able to log in to the Allina Health Knowledge Network (AKN) to view their schedules in Kronos. For more information about the return to work process that both Allina Health and the union agreed to, visit allinahealth.org/nurses

  • Final contract agreement

    Following is a summary of some of the key components of the proposal that nurses voted to accept.

    View the agreement

    Issue Agreement
    Wage increases Nurses will receive wage increases of 2% each year of the contract, retroactive to June 1, 2016. This is in addition to the step increases already built into the contract.
    Health insurance
    Nurse-only plans

    The Choice and Advantage nurse-only plans will continue through Dec. 31, 2018. New hire nurses can enroll in these two plans through May 31, 2018. 

    The Plus and 250 plans will be discontinued on Dec. 31, 2016.

    Health insurance
    Contributions for health care expenses

    All nurses with a 0.1 FTE or more will receive a $500 contribution to their flex spending account for 2017. They do not need to be enrolled in an Allina Health plan to receive this bonus. Nurses who enroll in the Allina Health Select or Basic HSA plan will receive this $500 contribution to their HSA.

    From 2019 through 2021, nurses who enroll in an Allina Health core plan will receive a non-taxable HRA or HSA contribution as follows:

    • 2019: $1,000 (HSA or HRA)
    • 2020: $500 (HSA or HRA)
    • 2021: $500 (HSA or HRA)

    Contributions will be made to an HRA if enrolled in the Allina First plan or to the HSA if enrolled in one of the HSA plans.

    Note: For the HSA plans, these contributions are in addition to other contributions Allina Health would make. Allina Health currently makes a $600 or $1,200 contribution to the Health Savings Accounts of those who enroll in the Select HSA plan.  

    Health insurance
    Protection of benefits 

    No changes will be made to the Choice and Advantage plans as long as they are offered.

    No changes will be made to the Allina First plan that diminish the overall benefits to nurses through Dec. 31, 2021, unless required to comply with legal or regulatory requirements.

    Health insurance
    Committee
    A Health Insurance Committee shall be created with nurses appointed by the union as well as Allina Health participants. It will meet at least four times per year to review health insurance information, costs, benefit designs, administration issues and trends. 
    Workplace safety 

    Nurses will be provided a minimum of two hours of face-to-face workplace safety training annually, with at least one trainer being an RN with clinical expertise.

    There will be 24/7 security staffing dedicated to the Emergency Departments.  

    In addition, the union's voice in workplace safety issues has been extended. They will now have the right to nominate nurses to participate on the hospital committees that review and address workplace violence training and incidents.

    As part of that process, each committee will review data regarding workplace safety incidents and make recommendations for educational needs, training content and other measures to improve workplace safety. If a pattern or trend emerges, the committee may also make recommendations for additional education or changes to policy.

    Meetings will be held no less than six times per year.

    Staffing
    Charge Nurse Assignment Task Force

    Allina Health agreed to jointly create a Charge Nurse Assignment Task Force, which will:

    • analyze the inpatient, ED, and peri-anesthesia units in which a charge nurse is regularly assigned a full or partial patient assignment;
    • evaluate the identified units by (1) analyzing the reasons why the Charge Nurse may have a full or partial assignment (filling in for sick calls); (2) identifying staffing and budgetary solutions that where appropriate result in Charge Nurses in the above-identified units not having a full or partial patient care assignment; and (3) developing a timetable to implement any identified solutions;
    • oversee the implementation of any identified solutions.

    If the Task Force is unable to reach agreement, a mediator will be called in to aid the group. 

    The Task Force will be comprised of two MNA-represented nurses/co-chairs and up to three nurses from the unit being reviewed, all selected by MNA, along with up to five management representatives. Meetings will commence no later than January 2017.  

    Consecutive days with a scheduled shift   The number of consecutive days on which a nurse could be scheduled to work will be limited. For instance, a nurse who is scheduled to work 12-hour shifts on three consecutive days would not be scheduled to work an eight-hour shift on the fourth day and a nurse who is scheduled to work eight-hour shifts on five consecutive days would not be scheduled to work a 12-hour shift on the sixth day.
    United Hospital
    Flexible schedules  
    United Hospital will have the ability to post permanent flexible schedule positions (e.g., 12-hour shifts). The other metro hospitals already have the ability to post these positions.
    Job vacancies   The hospital will have the ability to post a job with up to three pre-defined levels of qualifications. This means managers would not need to repost if a lack of internal or external candidates requires the job qualifications be changed. This process will enable the hospitals to more quickly fill open positions while maintaining the right for internal candidates to bid on jobs first and by seniority.

    Education
    Unity Hospital  

    For Unity Hospital nurses, tuition reimbursement is being increased to $3,500 a year and the annual workshop dollars is being increased to $750. The Educational Development contract language at Unity is also being revised to substantially conform with the Mercy contract language.
    Recognized degrees   The Master/Doctor of Nursing Practice is being added to the list of recognized degrees.
    Leave benefits The leave rights of nurses is being expanded so they can use accrued benefit time (sick, vacation/PTO) when they need to take a leave due to a family member's critical illness or death.
  • Health insurance

    As part of this agreement, nurses will transition over time to the same competitive and affordable health plans in which more than 30,000 of our employees and their family members participate.

    Our most popular core plan, the Allina First plan, features an affordable $300 deductible and lower premiums than our nurses currently pay for their 20-year-old nurse-only plans. This plan not only features a network of more than 2 million providers nationwide (including Allina Health competitors), participants are protected by a $3,500 out-of-pocket maximum. Last year, less than 5 percent of participants reached that out-of-pocket maximum because the coverage is so comprehensive.

    View details about the plans' coverage

    Our core plans are praised by independent analysts and employees who use them.

    • Listen to the story on Minnesota Public Radio, in which one independent analyst confirms we're offering a Gold-Plus rated plan, citing a higher-than-average benefit for a lower-than-average cost, and another independent analyst said between the nurse-only plan and our core plan, he'd pick our core health plan because of its great value and the significant premium savings.
    • Many of our other employees do not agree with the union's defamation of our core plans. Read their testimonials.

    We're proud to provide our nurses with exceptional benefits

    Allina Health values the contributions its nurses make to exceptional patient care, and our benefits package reflects that. A full-time nurse at Allina Health earns an average annual salary of $87,298 (average of $42/hour), not including overtime and premium pay.

    Plus, nurses who work 16-hours per week receive full health benefits. We also provide a defined pension benefit, an average of 40.8 days of vacation/sick/holidays per year and retirees can continue coverage on our benefit plans until age 65.

    The agreement provides a two percent wage increase each year from 2016 to 2019, in addition to step wage increases and generous longevity bonuses that are already part of the contracts. All of these benefits make nurses at Allina Health among the highest compensated in the United States.