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Reader's View: Nurses’ strike isn’t about salaries

Nurses shouldn’t find themselves facing a workplace that is not safe for their patients.

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I am profoundly disappointed with both Essentia Health and St. Luke's. I never thought these community health care providers would negotiate in bad faith with our nurses, the people who worked so hard and under extreme stress during the pandemic.

Whatever you may hear from the health systems, the strike was not about salaries. It was about good care and about safe staffing levels for us and for anyone in a hospital needing nursing care. Who do you want setting what is a safe level of nurses to patients? The bean counters looking at the bottom line or the nurses actually caring for you? Nurses shouldn’t find themselves facing a workplace that is not safe for their patients. No nurse should be punished for refusing to work in conditions that are unsafe for their patients.

I urge Essentia and St. Luke's to come to an agreement that ensures the best care for patients. I ask our community to stand with the nurses.

Jocelyn Heid



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