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Day three of the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) strike arrived on Wednesday, with no deals reached between providers and the union.

Many nurses of the seven providers in the state will go back to work when the strike ends on Thursday at 7 a.m.

Allina Health said nurses working at its hospitals will begin returning to work Wednesday evening. Nurses at United Hospital in St. Paul will return at 6:30 p.m. based on the association's 10-day strike notice.

Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis; Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids; and Mercy Hospital - Unity Campus in Fridley will return to normal operations starting at 7 a.m. Thursday, according to Allina Health.

"Allina Health remains committed to moving forward and reaching a fair contract that recognizes the priorities of both parties," the healthcare provider said in a statement.

Nurses say that executives walked away from talks prior to the strike going into effect this past weekend. Much of the same was said on Wednesday. 

"The support of the nurses for their contracts, the support for the nurses' patience, the support of the nurses from their communities is overwhelming," MNA President and ICU nurse Mary Turner said.

"Because we are out here — not only for our own contracts but for our very professions."

Turner reiterated that the demands of nurses reached an impasse with executives after they wouldn't agree on staffing changes and contract pay.

The largest private sector nurses strike in United States history comes after multiple failed negotiations between the MNA and hospital executives. The strike was authorized on Aug. 16 following an overwhelming vote in favor among 15,000 nurses across 15 Twin Cities and Duluth-Superior hospitals. 

A 10-day notice was given on Sept. 1 before the strike went into effect this week.

Twin Cities Hospital Group, which represents four of the seven healthcare providers, says the nurses' union has demanded wage increases by 32-39% over the next three-year contract. Hospitals have offered around a 10-12% increase over three years, stating it's the largest wage increase they have offered in 15 years.

A spokesperson with Twin Cities Hospital Group said negotiations would not continue while a strike is actively happening.

On Tuesday, Gov. Tim Walz showed up to a press conference in support of nurses.

"Nurses have put their lives on the line to care for Minnesotans throughout this pandemic. They deserve to be safe on the job and get paid fairly," the governor said in a statement.

Turner said the union will go back to the drawing board to decide what the next step is if a deal is not reached by the strike's deadline. 

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren shared her support for Minnesota nurses on Wednesday.

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