15,000 Minnesota nurses are on strike today (as of 7 am). Management and the union have been unable to reach an agreement on staffing levels and nurse retention. Strike organizers say it’s the largest private sector nurses’ strike in U-S history. Replacement nurses have already been brought in at the impacted hospitals, but the Minnesota Nurses Association’s Mary Turner says it will likely not be “business as usual” and adds “the reality is nowadays the people seeking medical care increases day by day, so to sit and say ‘it’ll be down to a nice manageable level where they won’t even miss us’ I don’t think so. I don’t think that’s going to happen. They are going to miss us.” Hospitals impacted by the three-day strike are in the Twin Cities and Duluth areas. The Twin Cities Hospitals Group and Essentia both say the nurses union did not exhaust all options — specifically, mediation — before going on strike, and they indicate nurses’ wage demands are unworkable.
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