Recently, nurses at the Essentia Health-Duluth Clinic 1st Street and Essentia East Market Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) organized to form a union, and now additional Essentia Health nurses will be following suit.

In an email sent Wednesday, January 31 by the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA), they stated that nurses at Essentia Health-Duluth Clinic 2nd Street will be holding a press conference Thursday to formally announce that they have organized and are filing for an election vote to be represented by the MNA.

The press conference is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in Hall B at the Duluth Labor Temple, located at 2002 London Road in Duluth.

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Clinic nurses are expected to be joined at the press conference by Chris Rubesch, who is an RN at Essentia-Duluth and MNA President.

“Over the course of my career, I have seen part-time positions, flexibility, and work-life balance disappear. Working with less and doing more has become the new standard,” said Holly Swedberg, an RN in the Outpatient Behavioral Health department at Essentia Health-Duluth Clinic 2nd Street. “As professionals, we want the best for our patients, and we want the time and support required to deliver our best. Collective bargaining will afford us a voice to improve both patient care and our working conditions.”

The MNA adds that nurses at Essentia’s 2nd Street Clinic are seeking a union to be able to collaboratively negotiate employment terms, work conditions, and patient care standards, which they expect will lead to greater job satisfaction nurse retention, and quality patient care. The nurses filed for an election with the National Labor Relations Board this week, although an election date has yet to be determined.

Established in 1905, the Minnesota Nurses Association has more than 22,000 members in Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, and Wisconsin, and it is the leading organization for registered nurses in the Midwest. It is also the largest representative of RNs for collective bargaining in the nation.

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