Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Allina nurses authorize strike starting Labor Day

MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

Points for symbolism on the timing of this. The Star Tribune’s Jeremy Olson reports: “A strike by nurses at five Allina Health hospitals will start at 7 a.m. Labor Day, according to required 10-day notices their union sent to the health system early this morning. … The nurses had rejected a contract offer from Allina and authorized strike planning in voting last week, but negotiators with the Minnesota Nurses Association opted to wait to set a date pending the outcome of talks that occurred Tuesday.”

The Minnesota State Fair: come for the cheese curds, stay for the major policy announcements. MPR has an AP report on Gov. Dayton standing up for the bees: “Gov. Mark Dayton has issued an executive order restricting uses of neonicotinoid pesticides to reverse the decline of bee and other pollinator populations. … Dayton made the announcement Friday at the Minnesota State Fair, joined by state agency heads and legislative leaders. He noted that pollinators are crucial to the state’s $90 billion agricultural sector, but they’ve been in decline over the past decade.”

Minnesota sends more college students out than it takes in. That’s a finding included in this New York Times report on net flows of college students nationwide: “Budget cuts have led to sharply higher tuition in Illinois and Minnesota, which export far more students than they import from other states. As a result, it can be cheaper for a Minnesota student to go to North Dakota State University, which attracts students with discounted tuition, than the University of Minnesota.” Wonder how our tuition reciprocity agreements affect this.

Pretty much every media outlet in the state puts out a story (or a lot of stories) about food at the Minnesota State Fair, but in terms of comprehensiveness it’s hard to beat the crew from the Heavy Table. Their report begins: “The ever-evolving nature of Minnesota State Fair food means that while every year we’re sure to see a pile of bacon-covered, -coated, -filled, or -sprinkled whatever, there’s usually another through line or two that you can put your finger on. This time, it’s The Year of Stellar Ice Cream. We kept tasting ice-cream-based dishes that were thoughtfully composed, made with good stuff, and downright delicious. As usual, the burden of being required to taste all this stuff on Day 1 of the fair is one we wear lightly …”

In other news…

Spoiler: it was fireworks. “Police solve mystery of two severed fingers found in Red River park” [Pioneer Press]

As if the job wasn’t hard enough:New assignment this fall in Minnesota schools: deal with ‘Pokémon Go’” [MPR]

54 years of Minnesota music history: “Every MN State Fair grandstand lineup ever, ranked” [City Pages]

They work! “U.S. Bank Stadium’s giant doors open for first time this morning” [Star Tribune]

Cheers: “City in a Glass: Minneapolis” [Paste]

This. Is. Minnesota:

Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Robert Gauthier on 08/26/2016 - 01:26 pm.

    The nurses strike…

    The strike is solely about benefits this time, as opposed to pass strikes which of been about patient safety. Since the benefits they seek are now taxable under the ACA, it seems that the question is who will pay the tax. Alina right now is stuck paying the $10 million in taxes for luxury healthcare plans. It looks like they tried to do some sort of highbred, but that was rejected.

    Nurses have a generally good reputation and good will with the public. I hope they’re able to keep that because this is a no-win dispute. They’re trying to hold onto a benefit that literally no one else can have if they are corporately employed, without financial penalty.

    I wonder if the solution might come out of something like the Detroit auto workers reorganization package. The Automakers shifted healthcare and retirement over to the union, paying for this with the lump sum of stock and cash.
    I wonder if the nursing Union could become an insurer for their employees, with Alina handing over the cost of the legally mandated insurance to the union. That way the negotiation becomes one over what the lump sum is, and the benefits are an internal affair. It also gives an impetus for people to belong to the union. Time will tell

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 08/26/2016 - 02:35 pm.

      Health Benefits Are Now Taxable?

      Explain please. There is no so-called Cadillac tax on health benefits today. And there is every indication that the Cadillac tax will never come to pass.

      • Submitted by Howard Miller on 08/28/2016 - 01:57 pm.

        ….. but that tax is coming in 2018, rumor has it

        and will happen unless someone re-writes the health care law. Should be both politically and economically disruptive when it hits, which one could suspect may be what some bill authors intended. We should move instead to get employers out of the health insurance business, move to a single payer insurance approach. We’ll save money as a nation if we no longer have private health insurers, and when pharmaceuticals face competition to sell drugs to US public medical plans

        • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 08/29/2016 - 09:38 am.

          Delayed Once Already

          Last year the Cadillac tax was delayed until January 1, 2020. There is wide speculation it will never come to pass. I don’t know it should ever have been passed at all. If I choose to take a larger share of my compensation in the form of better insurance, why should I be penalized for that?

          I agree the employers should be out of the business of providing health insurance. And for the life of me I don’t know why they aren’t leading the charge. Many are taking the easy way out, by shifting costs onto their workforces, something they like to euphemistically call “cost sharing.”

Leave a Reply