PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - October 19, 2920 


Trailing Biden in Nevada, Trump holds a jam-packed Carson City rally. And with COVID a major election issue, hospitals help patients register to vote.


2020Talks - October 19, 2020 


Litigation is ongoing on ballot receipt deadlines, witness signatures and drop boxes. And early voting starts in a dozen states this week.

ND Nurses Ratify Historic Contract

The people involved with pushing through a historic nurses' contract in North Dakota say it not only benefits local workers but also those hoping to advance union causes across the state. (Adobe Stock)
The people involved with pushing through a historic nurses' contract in North Dakota say it not only benefits local workers but also those hoping to advance union causes across the state. (Adobe Stock)
September 11, 2020

BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota has seen a vote that hasn't taken place in the state for quite some time: a union-approved contract in health care.

This week, nurses at St. Alexius Health Bismarck Medical Center ratified a labor agreement with the hospital's parent company. It comes after these workers became the only unionized nurses in the state. They're represented by the Minnesota Nurses Association, which works in multiple states.

Association member Angie Grosz, who works at the hospital, said it's the culmination of several years of standing in solidarity with her fellow nurses to create some history.

"It's the first hospital in North Dakota with a nurse's union," she said, "and now the first hospital working under a contract."

North Dakota is not viewed as a union-rich state, and nurses have said that's underscored by having an out-of-state labor group supporting them. MNA has said the deal was struck after more than 20 negotiating sessions that centered on staffing, workplace-violence protections, and a defined wage scale. It's believed to be the first such contract in the state in more than 40 years.

The Minnesota Nurses Association said it hopes these changes will help retain more registered nurses in Bismarck. Not only will this benefit staff members, Grosz said, but also the people they care for.

"This has really created a great opportunity to for nurses to have a stronger say in their workplace and in the care that they can provide to their patients," she said.

In a statement released after the deal was first reached, the hospital's parent company, Catholic Health Initiatives, said it was happy to finalize an agreement. It added that it appreciated working with the nurses to continue to provide top-quality care to the community.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, North Dakota has the second-fewest number of unionized workers in the country, at just under 18,000.

The agreement announcement from MNA is online at mnnurses.org, and the company statement is at chistalexiushealth.org.

Mike Moen, Public News Service - ND