We were grateful to welcome our full team back together on Thursday, September 15, following the 3-day MNA strike. We also recognize the many employees who worked tirelessly to support our contingent nurses and care for our patients during the strike. The contingency staff raved about the St. Luke’s inpatient team members and shared how grateful they were for all of the help.

Every industry is facing workforce shortages, including health care. Nurses have a multitude of choices in where and how they want to work, and we respect that choice. Some leave the bedside to choose lucrative travel assignments. Others choose to work as an RN in a clinical or office setting, often to have regular weekday hours. We are doing everything we can to recruit new nurses, train the nursing workforce of the future, and retain the nurses we have. We have also added new roles and are using technology more than ever to support nurses. Since January 2021, we have hired 163 MNA RNs and continue to hire more.

St. Luke’s remains committed to reaching an agreement with MNA that is fair to all of our staff, patients and communities. MNA’s most recent proposal at St. Luke’s calls for wage increases of 24.5% over three years (10%, 8.5% 6%) among many other economic demands. This is not sustainable for our organization, the other 2,500 St. Luke’s employees, or our communities. St. Luke’s is offering a fair and reasonable 10.5% wage increase over three years, which exceeds other recent settlements in the Duluth area.

Nurses in Minnesota are among the most highly compensated in the nation, consistently ranking in the top 10 among all states.

St. Luke’s RN wages, under the current contract, are highly competitive and recognize our nurses for their time and talents.

  • RN with 2-year degree and no experience
    • $35.63/hour*, $74,1104/year* (full time)
  • RN with 2-year degree and 7 years of full-time experience
    • $46.84/hour*, $97,427/year* (full-time)
  • RN who picks up an overtime shift with bonus on average makes $93.18/hour**

In addition, RNs who work three 8-hour days a week (.6 FTE) or greater receive the same health and dental insurance benefits as 1.0 FTE, plus vacation time, sick time, pension, 401K match, and long-term disability.

*This base pay rate excludes shift differential, weekend bonus, and other premium pay (OT, double time, holiday, critical need bonus, etc.)

**$45.45 average/hourly rate x 1.5x OT + $25/hour critical need bonus = $93.18/hour

The above rates are based on our most recent contract, which expired on June 30, 2022 and we continue to honor. MNA’s proposals would significantly increase these wages.

St. Luke’s continues to ask MNA to allow the assistance of a federal mediator. A mediator uses their expertise to help the parties find common areas of agreement they may not have identified themselves. They are skilled at understanding when parties should be talking across the table and when the parties should be working independently so that an agreement can be reached.

We look forward to returning to the bargaining table.