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Nurses at 5 Twin Cities hospitals end their strike, but still no contract deal

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Nurses at five Twin Cities hospitals have ended their seven-day strike, but they still don't have a contract deal with Allina Health.

The Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA), which represents the roughly 5,000 nurses at Allina, reported "strong attendance" on the picket lines this past week, with about 2,000 nurses picketing outside the hospitals each day.

https://www.facebook.com/MinnesotaNurses/videos/10157115055730338/

Little progress was made

Despite a strong show of support on the picket lines, there was "little apparent progress" on getting a new contract and it's not clear what will happen next, the Star Tribune says.

“We’re here because Allina won’t talk about our proposals and won’t give us the information we need to address their proposals,” Angie Becchetti, a nurse at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, said in a news release. “They’re just not talking, even though we’ve heard they’re holding press conferences every day. They’ve told the reporters things they won’t tell the nurses. That’s not fair negotiations.”

The union says the nurses are frustrated with Allina Health because they won't talk with the nurses and answers questions about health insurance plans (one of the major sticking points in negotiations), staffing and preventing workplace violence, the release says.

“We’re eager to get back to the bargaining table,” Dr. Penny Wheeler, Allina’s chief executive, told the Star Tribune, but “both sides need to be willing to talk about a health plan transition.”

Neither side has proposed restarting negotiations, and it's not clear if the nurses association will plan another strike, reports note.

The nurses began their unfair labor practice strike at 7 a.m. Sunday June 19, and some nurses were called back to work on Sunday.

Contract negotiations began back in February.

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