With strike looming, nurses, hospitals report no progressby Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Talks between 14 Twin Cities hospitals and a union representing thousands of nurses concluded Friday afternoon with no movement toward a settlement.
Federal mediators have not scheduled any new talks before June 10, when about 12,000 Minnesota nurses are set to walk off the job for a one-day strike.
Hospitals spokeswoman Maureen Schriner says the talks broke off about 2 p.m. Friday.
Among the demands by nurses is a call for a set nurse-to-patient ratio. Hospitals are resisting that demand, saying they need staffing flexibility.
Minnesota Nurses Association spokesman John Nemo said nurses are concerned about the quality of patient care.
"It's about one thing and one thing only for our nurses -- and that is about their patients," he said. "It's about the danger of the working conditions at these hospitals. It's about these hospitals not wanting nurses to have a voice in how care is delivered."
Schriner said if the two sides make no progress, they are headed for a nurses strike next Thursday.
"We will look at trying to negotiate," Schriner said. "I mean, we want to negotiate. The only benefit to the strike ... is that the national union can say it set a Guiness Book of World Records."
12,000 Minnesota nurses are planning to strike on the same day as thousands of nurses in California, which could make it the largest nurses strike in U.S. history.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)