Hospitals: Patient volume will determine how many nurses return after strikeby Rupa Shenoy, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Not all of the 12,000 Twin Cities nurses who plan to strike Thursday may be back to work on Friday.
The nurses are planing a 24-hour strike, but Maureen Schriner, a spokeswoman for the 14 hospitals where those nurses work, says patient volume will determine when they'll be called back to their jobs.
"If someone walks off the job we have the ability to determine when they come back on the job," Schriner said. "And the volume of patients at some of the hospitals -- we do anticipate the volume of patients at some of the hospitals is going to go down on purpose because of the contingency plans."
Several hospitals are rescheduling elective surgeries because of the strike. Schriner says as the number of patients in hospitals picks up, more nurses will be called back to work.
The nurses are striking over staffing and pension benefits. The hospitals are hiring and training substitute nurses to take their place.
Maureen Schriner says the hospitals are expecting a smooth transition when striking nurses walk out early tomorrow morning and the replacement nurses come in.
Schriner acknowledges that some hospitals are putting enhanced security measures in place, but she says they don't expect trouble from the strikers.
"We have every expectation that even though we have disputes and we can have the nurses go and picket that this is going to be in a professional manner where we're going to understand that we need to care for our patients and they're going to allow that to go forward in a peaceful manner," she said.