Nurses' strike begins at 5 hospitals in Minnesota

Small BusinessAssociated Press

Nearly 5,000 nurses are on strike in Minnesota following a breakdown in contract talks.

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The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports (http://strib.mn/2bZp8S3 ) that the walkout at five Twin Cities hospitals began as scheduled Monday at 7 a.m.

The Minnesota Nurses Association and representatives from Allina Health broke off a 22-hour negotiating session early Saturday without agreement. Main issues of the negotiations include health insurance, workplace safety and staffing.

The nurses say they made progress some progress, but that Allina said nurses' health care plans needed to end before 2020. Allina says it "met the union more than half way on many issues."

The union represents about 4,800 nurses at Abbott Northwestern and the Phillips Eye Institute in Minneapolis, United in St. Paul, Unity in Fridley and Mercy in Coon Rapids.

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com