Nurses OK strike at Children’s hospitals

ST. PAUL (AP) — Nurses have voted to authorize a strike against Children’s Minnesota and its hospitals in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The Minnesota Nurses Association says union nurses voted overwhelmingly Thursday to reject Children’s latest offer and authorize their negotiating team to call a strike.

The Star Tribune reports no walkouts are scheduled. The two sides were set to return to bargaining Friday.

Negotiator Elaina Hane, a pediatric intensive care nurse at Children’s St. Paul, says nurses feel “devalued and disrespected,” and “are prepared to do what it takes to get a fair contact.”

Health insurance is a key issue for the nurses.

A Children’s official says the strike authorization vote “doesn’t make sense” and is unnecessary, since the two sides have made progress in bargaining.

Talks have gone on since March.