Nurses and hospitals return to the bargaining tableby Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Negotiators for 14 Twin Cities hospitals and 12,000 nurses returned to the bargaining table on Tuesday, one week ahead of a scheduled strike.
The Minnesota Nurses Association last Friday filed a 10-day notice setting a July 6 strike date. Previous talks broke down leading to a 24-hour walkout by the nurses union earlier this month.
Union officials confirmed the two sides returned to negotiations at around 1 p.m. Tuesday, as planned. It is unclear how long the talks could last -- no end time has been set.
Spokespeople for the hospitals and the union both declined to comment on the negotiations.
Staffing levels are the main sticking point. The union is seeking fixed nurse-to-patient ratios, calling it a matter of patient safety. But the hospitals say that would raise costs without improving the quality of care.