Press Release: Bemidji RNs Formally Approve Contract Agreement with Sanford Health

13 Sep

Media Contact: John Nemo, 651-414-2863

BEMIDJI, Minnesota (September 13, 2011) – Bemidji nurses have formally approved a contract offer from Sanford Bemidji Hospital, ending nearly six months of contract negotiations that included informational picketing and a strike vote.

“We are glad to have reached a settlement,” said Peter Danielson, RN, chair of the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) bargaining team. “It was a long, tough road, but we have an agreement in place that our nurses can feel good about. While to us this isn’t a perfect resolution, it is a compromise that helps put our patients first. This new contract takes some important steps by offering a specific timeline to help make management more accountable for improving unsafe staffing levels inside our hospital.”

The current contract between the hospital and 230 nurses represented by MNA expired on February 28, 2011, and negotiations have been ongoing since early April. Nurses voted overwhelmingly on July 28 to reject Sanford’s “final” contract offer, instead authorizing bargaining team leaders to call for a strike. Today’s ratification vote means a strike will be averted, Danielson said.

Sanford Health, a growing corporate health giant that employs 18,000 workers across eight different states, recently bought the Bemidji hospital – previously known as North Country Regional Hospital – and was negotiating its first contract with members of the Minnesota Nurses Association.

Founded in 1905, the Minnesota Nurses Association has represented Bemidji nurses for more than 30 years and represents more than 20,000 nurses in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. MNA is also an affiliate of National Nurses United, which represents more than 170,000 RNs across the United States.

Please visit MNA’s Bemidji page for more details and updates at

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