Can anyone explain why Governor Goofy interjected himself into a union negotiation?

After 17 hours, Allina and nurses reach deal to halt strike
By Forum News Service Today at 8:20 a.m.

ST. PAUL — Allina Health and the Minnesota Nurses Association reached a tentative agreement late Monday, Oct. 10, to settle outstanding contract issues between the two groups.

The deal, after a 17-hour negotiating session on Monday, settles the outstanding issues between the two groups. Union members are expected to vote on the contract Thursday, with a unanimous endorsement by MNA.

Gov. Mark Dayton announced the tentative agreement in a news release issued at 4:32 a.m. Tuesday, stating the groups gathered with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to negotiate at the request of the governor and Lt. Governor Tina Smith.

“We thank the Minnesota Nurses Association and Allina Health for working to reach this tentative agreement, which will allow them to resume the quality health care that Minnesotans need and deserve,” Dayton said.

Details of the new contract will be distributed Tuesday, and details posted on the MNA website.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported on Monday that Dayton’s office said it has been meeting separately with Allina and the MNA for five weeks.

Nurses from the MNA have been on strike at United Hospital in St. Paul, Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, Unity Hospital in Fridley, Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids and the Phillips Eye Institute in Minneapolis since Labor Day.

Negotiations resumed at the behest of a federal mediator in late September, but union members voted against Allina’s resulting contract proposal Oct. 3. Further negotiations had not been scheduled as of that time.

MNA officials said they believed the latest proposal “nickel and dimed,” the nurses, while Allina held that it addressed nearly all of the nurse’s concerns in a financially sustainable way. The Minneapolis-based health care system says all staffing and workplace safety proposals have been settled with the union and the only differences left to resolve involve bonuses, premium contributions and limits to future benefit changes.

Allina says it is using 1,500 replacement nurses to keep the affected hospitals operating. The company also says at least 644 nurses have crossed the picket line to return to work.

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