Hastings hospital workers picket Regina Medical Centerby Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A picket line will greet visitors to Regina Medical Center in Hastings this morning.
About 230 workers plan to strike from 6 a.m. Monday until 6 a.m. Wednesday.
The union's current contract expired Oct. 31. Workers have been negotiating a new contract for the last month. But the union rejected an offer that would increase workers' share of pension contributions and healthcare premiums.
Jan Salo from SEIU, the union representing the workers, says in this tough economic climate, when people are already struggling, the hospital should find other ways to balance its budget.
"This is going to affect our whole community and not just workers at the hospital and in our bargaining unit it will affect the RNs and LPNs and other contracts at the hospital, and by extension the entire community when we are getting much less in our pension," Salo said.
Hospital officials have announced contingency plans, including shifting employees and bringing in temporary workers.