Striking nurses, Allina Health agree to bargaining session


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Union nurses and Allina Health will return to bargaining for the first time since nearly 5,000 nurses at five Minneapolis-area hospitals went on strike nearly three weeks ago.

The Minnesota Nurses Association and Allina say federal mediators asked both sides to resume negotiations. A session is scheduled Tuesday.

The nurses walked off Sept. 5 after a 22-hour bargaining session ended with no agreement on a new contract. Health insurance is a key issue.

Allina says it is using 1,500 replacement nurses to keep the affected hospitals operating. The company says 559 Allina nurses have crossed the picket line to return to work.

The affected hospitals are 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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