Nurses ask hospitals to return to contract negotiationsby Lorna Benson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The Minnesota Nurses Association is asking 6 Twin Cities hospital systems to return to the negotiating table next week.
The nurses union is suggesting that meetings could be held next Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Those dates come after the nurses vote next Monday on whether to authorize an open-ended strike.
Susan Mason, a lead negotiator for the nurses, says if the nurses authorize a strike, the union would delay filing their 10-day, intent-to-strike notice if the hospitals agreed to resume negotiations.
"We are asking them directly to sit down and talk to us," Mason said. "We are prepared to modify, delete, drop any proposal that we've got on the table to get to a settlement."
The nurses membership would still need to vote to approve the terms of any revised contract agreement.
Twin Cities Hospitals spokeswoman Maureen Schriner said the hospitals just received the letters and are weighing their response.
"Our intention now is we're going to evaluate what the union is proposing and we're going to determine whether the union is willing to address the hospitals' issues and draw back on their proposals," Schriner said.
Nurse negotiators will hold meetings throughout the week to explain the union's strike plan and negotiating strategy to all of its nurses.
- All Things Considered, 06/15/2010, 5:23 p.m.