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  • Allina's New Proposal to Nurses Union

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    Allina Health modifies proposal in continued effort to reach a fair agreement
    June 27, 2016
    Allina Health’s priority during last week’s strike was providing patients with the safe and exceptional care our hospitals are known for. Now that our nurses are back caring for our patients, we are renewing our ongoing efforts to reach a contract settlement with the following amended proposals, which modify Allina Health’s position on the issues that are key to these negotiations.
    MODIFIED PROPOSAL: The following items are part of a comprehensive proposal.
    Proposal Overview
    Health Insurance Allina Health’s updated proposal extends the transition timeline so that our current nurses will have access to the two most utilized nurse-only plans (Choice and Advantage) through Dec. 31, 2019.
    In addition, previous proposal language remains:
    • No changes proposed to the special benefits nurses currently receive, including:
      • benefits eligibility upon working 16 hours/week (0.4 FTE);
      • retirement health coverage; and
      • exemption from wellness program requirements.
    • The Plus and 250 plans will remain available through Dec. 31, 2017.
    • Allina Health will continue to pay the overwhelming majority of the premium costs for the nurse-only plans, but nurses would pay for any additional premium increases after 2016. (See 2016 costs on the benefit plan charts.)
    • Nurses hired after the effective date of the agreements would participate in the core health plans offered to the rest of our employees.
    To see how our most popular core plan works, view these scenarios. The Allina First plan offers a low
    $300 deductible and many services (office visits, chiropractic, convenience care, urgent care, etc.) do not even require you to meet the deductible. Plus, while discounts are offered when Allina Health and partner facilities (e.g., Childrens, etc.) are used, participants have nationwide access to more than two million in-network providers, including competitors.
    Workplace Safety Allina Health’s new proposal adopts many items in the union’s workplace safety proposal, including the opportunity for focused workplace safety discussions at the Labor-Management Committees. We believe our acceptance of these components of the union’s proposal is a win-win and look forward to their response. This is in addition to our previous proposal, which includes the following key elements:
    • Participation: Contract language would give the union the right to nominate registered nurses to the committees that review and address workplace violence training and incidents. Currently, most sites select their own cross-functional participants.
    • Scope: Each site’s committee reviews data regarding workplace safety incidents and makes recommendations for education, training and other measures to improve workplace safety. If a pattern or trend arises, the committee may make recommendations for additional education or changes to policies.
    • Schedule: While the committees already meet regularly, our proposal guarantees meetings will be held at least six times a year.
    Allina Health is proud of how we have worked together with our employees – including our valued nurses
    – to create programs and plans of action to keep our employees safe. We care deeply about this issue and work hard to give our staff the support they need to prevent, address and recover from violent incidents.
    Proposal Overview
    Wages Allina Health proposed a two percent across-the-board base wage increase for each year of the three- year contract. This proposal mirrors the wage agreement the union just reached with other Twin Cities hospital systems earlier this year. The two percent annual increase is in addition to step increases that are built into the contract.
    Acuity-Based Staffing System Allina Health proposed to collaboratively explore an acuity-based staffing system with the union. Moving toward an acuity-based staffing model enables nurses, charge nurses, and supervisors to make real-time decisions on staffing needs. The benefit of an acuity-based staffing model is that it adjusts to the changing needs of our patients. Each patient has unique care needs based on their illness and the amount of nursing care they require.
    Our providers, nurses and other caregivers rely upon electronic health record tools every day to follow best care practices, reduce errors and more. Using an acuity-based staffing system combines a similar approach of giving nurses computerized information to help inform staffing decisions specific to what the patients require.
    Other items Our comprehensive proposal also includes increasing tuition dollars for nurses at Unity Hospital so they align with the rest of the metro contracts, recognizing the Master/Doctor of Nursing Practice and renewing the Letters of Understanding.
    Tentative Agreements Both the union and Allina Health have also already reached tentative agreements on job vacancies, flexible schedules at United Hospital and how many consecutive days nurses would work.
    Let’s work together
    Allina Health encourages the union to return to the negotiations table and work with us to address each of these items so that we can reach a fair agreement and avoid putting our nurses, employees and the patients we serve through prolonged negotiations or additional, unnecessary strikes.
    By continuing to modify our health insurance proposal, Allina Health is demonstrating that we remain flexible on what a transition plan could look like. By adopting much of the union’s proposal on workplace safety, we are demonstrating a good faith effort to meet the union’s needs on what has been identified by union leadership as its primary issue.
    Visit allinahealth.org/negotiations for more information.
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