Hospitals ask nurses to return to bargaining tableby Lorna Benson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Twin Cities Hospitals have asked nurses to rejoin them at the bargaining table.
Each of the six Twin Cities hospital systems sent their requests Wednesday to the Minnesota Nurses Association, which is the union representing the nurses in their contract dispute.
Hospitals' spokeswoman Maureen Schriner says the developments are a good start, but there's still a lot of work to be done.
"The hospitals are looking forward to sitting down with the union again with a federal mediator and having meaningful negotiations," Schriner said. "And meaningful negotiations means that we have to move off to some of those proposals that are unacceptable, because they add cost and they don't add value."
Union spokesman John Nemo says it's good that the hospitals want to resume bargaining. He says hospitals also said they're willing to extend the nurses' contracts, set to expire May 31, until the end of June.
"We don't feel [the extension] is necessary. We feel that a deal can get done very quickly, and both sides have bargaining since way back in March and know the issues and where the sticking points are," Nemo said. "And it's our belief that we can get a deal done and are anxious to do that, and hope the hospitals feel the same way and are ready to go."
Nemo says new bargaining sessions could take place within a day or two.