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Aaron Sojourner is an assistant professor in the Center for Human Resources and Labor at the Carlson School of Management

U of M labor negotiations expert available to comment on Minnesota nurses strike

June 22, 2010

Now that the Minnesota Nurses Association has completed a one-day strike, many wonder about the future of the impasse between the nurses and the hospitals. Did the June 10 strike pave the way for a solution or was it only the beginning in a long conflict? Are more strikes to come or will both sides find a way to compromise? And what does the June 21 union vote mean? A University of Minnesota expert who can discuss this is:

Aaron Sojourner, professor of human resources and labor, University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.

Sojouner says that because the Twin Cities nurses gave strong backing to their negotiating committee, they are in a much stronger bargaining position than they would have been otherwise. The vote also dampens any hope hospital management may have had that they could negotiate across from a weak, divided union.

“All the pieces are in place for serious bargaining to start. There may be some dickering back and forth of the timing and the exact conditions. Federal mediators may play a role. But both sides know that a strike would be a lose-lose situation; that both sides could be better off if a deal is reached and an open-ended strike avoided," Sojourner says.

“A strike is really lose-lose-lose, because the public will suffer as well. It will not be easy or quick. There may eventually be a date set for a strike or lockout. But both sides have strong incentives to reach a mutually acceptable deal before crossing that line.”

To interview Sojourner, contact Steve Rudolph, Carlson School of Management, 612-624-8770 or Jeff Falk, University of Minnesota News Service, at or 612-626-1720.

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