The Latest: Striking nurses picket 5 hospitals in Minnesota

The Latest on the nurses' strike at five Minnesota hospitals (all times local):

9:30 a.m.

Nurses are walking picket lines at five Minnesota hospitals in a strike over health insurance, workplace safety and staffing.

Both sides are braced for a long walkout by the Minnesota Nurses Association, which represents about 4,800 nurses at five Twin Cities-area hospitals run by Allina Health.

The open-ended strike began at 7 a.m. Monday, Labor Day, after a 22-hour bargaining session ended without agreement early Saturday.

Allina says it has brought in around 1,500 temporary nurses, and that it plans to operate the affected hospitals at normal capacity during the strike. Allina CEO Dr. Penny Wheeler says the hospitals will continue to deliver high-quality care.

The union's executive director, Rose Roach, says Allina is still seeking too many concessions on health insurance without adequately compensating nurses for the higher costs.


8:30 a.m.

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

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports ( ) 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.