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Nurses at Essentia Health-Duluth Clinic 3rd Street and Patient Flow hospital nurses to announce organizing, filing for union representation

“Our love for nurturing and providing the best patient care is often overlooked when the nurses do not have a voice at the table. This will allow us to fight for not only ourselves, but also what’s best for our patients.” -- Dee Budish, RN at Essentia 3rd Street Clinic

On Monday, Essentia Health-Duluth Clinic 3rd Street and Patient Flow hospital nurses will hold a press conference to announce that they have organized and are filing for an election vote to be represented by the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA).

The move follows recent successful organizing by nurses at Essentia Health-Duluth Clinic 1st Street and 2nd Street Clinic, Miller Hill Surgery Center, and nurses and other healthcare workers at Solvay Hospice House. These nurses also join East Market Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) who continue to seek union recognition at Essentia. Organizing nurses will be joined at the press conference by Chris Rubesch, RN at Essentia-Duluth and MNA President.

“Stat Doc nurses in the Patient Flow Center at Essentia are unionizing so that we can have equality and fairness within our RN role and to prevent unjust and unsafe working conditions,” said Keri Sterbenz, Patient Flow RN at Essentia Health-Duluth hospital.

"A lot of us became nurses to help others and care for those in need. We give our time, heart, and soul to our careers in the hopes that Essentia will support us as we care for the community,” said Laura Stern, RN at Essentia 3rd Street Clinic. “We are unionizing as we feel a lack of support in staffing to be able to provide safe patient care. As we consume previous full-time jobs into our already full-time roles, we believe unionizing will help us to prioritize patients over profits."

“We are ecstatic to be able to join our colleagues in having the voices of not only our current nurses and new nurses to Essentia Health but also protect our future nurses,” said Dee Budish, RN at Essentia 3rd Street Clinic. “We are asking for our benefits to be protected, safe and fair working environments, and fair wages. We want to protect the ability for continuing education opportunities with the rapid changes that are seen daily in the medical field. Our love for nurturing and providing the best patient care is often overlooked when the nurses do not have a voice at the table. This will allow us to fight for not only ourselves, but also what’s best for our patients.”

Nurses at Essentia’s 3rd Street Clinic are seeking a union to be able to collaboratively negotiate employment terms, work conditions, and patient care standards, thus leading to greater job satisfaction, nurse retention, and quality patient care. Patient Flow nurses at Essentia Health-Duluth hospital are seeking an election to join the existing Essentia hospital bargaining unit. The nurses filed for elections with the National Labor Relations Board this week; election dates have yet to be determined.

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