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Nurses picket Mankato hospital; contract talks hinge on staffing

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Hundreds of nurses picketed Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato Tuesday, as the union that represents them spars with hospital management over staffing levels.

As MPR reports, the hospital wants nurse staffing to be flexible, based on the number of patients and the severity of their condition.

Nurses tell the Mankato Free Press staffing levels are so low that when the need is great they're forced to work long hours, compromising patient safety. An existing labor agreement expires at the end of September and the nurses say they want minimum staffing levels mandated in the new contract.

Registered nurse David Nachreiner tells KEYC that patients in the hospital today are sicker than in the past because more are released to home care.

The station reports another contract negotiating session is set for Wednesday.

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