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After two days, no new talks planned in Allina nurses strike

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After two days, no new talks planned in Allina nurses strike

The union representing nurses at five Twin Cities hospitals says a strike will begin Labor Day because contract talks broke down. Of those nurses, nearly half also worked in Allina hospitals during MNA's weeklong strike in June, which cost Allina $20 million, he said.

The nurses say they plan to strike starting Monday.

No new negotiations have been scheduled.

Allina said there will be no return to talks until the union decides it come up with a better way to deal with the nurses contribution to health care costs.

"You take a risk when you go on strike, but ultimately you do what you have to do", said Angela Becchetti, an MNA negotiating team member and nurse at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.

In recent negotiations, the MNA agreed to transition from two of its nurses-only plans by January 1, 2017, and to transition from the remaining two plans by January 1, 2020.

Both sides have given some ground.

Allina also wants to exclude new nurses from nurses-only plans beginning January 1, 2017.

The others are United Hospital in St. Paul, Phillips Eye Institute in Minneapolis, Unity Hospital in Fridley and Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids. The union has resisted, saying nurses are more prone to injuries and illnesses because of the hazards of their jobs.

"We have a responsibility to continue delivering high-quality care for the patients and communities who rely on us every minute of every day".

"We put forth a proposal that addressed workplace safety, improvements to staffing and a monetary safety net for those nurses who would potentially face financial ruin once they entered into the high deductible Allina plans", Mary Turner, the MNA president, told reporters.

The strike follows a 22-hour negotiation session that stretched from Friday into Saturday morning but failed to produce an agreement between the Minnesota Nurses Association and Minneapolis-based Allina. The union also wanted contract bonuses of at least $1,000 to compensate for losing their union health plans, the report states.

"We want to reach an agreement and go back to work". The hospitals have been lining up replacement nurses, but that's an expensive proposition.

While the temporary nurses have agreed to work for different periods of time, beginning at about two weeks, Allina has made arrangements to make sure additional replacement nurses can take their places if needed, Kanihan said. But Bache-Wigg was present at the Allina press conference Tuesday, and Kanihan said Wheeler hadn't left the Twin Cities.Unlike June's strike the current one is open-ended.

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