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Strike Still Set For Allina Nurses

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- After a 22-hour negotiating session, there is no new agreement between Allina Health and nurses, which means Monday's strike is still on.

The union representing the nurses says they made repeated offers throughout the session that went until 6 this morning, but couldn't come to an agreement.

In a statement, they say progress was made on putting security officers in emergency rooms, Allina health maintained that nurses healthcare plans needed to end before the year 2020.

Now thousands of nurses at five Twin Cities hospitals will walk off the job Monday.

Replacement nurses from all over the country have already begun flying into the Twin Cities.

"Significantly, about 50 percent of those nurses we're bringing in this time are the same nurses we brought in in June, so they have already experience in our facilities," David Kanihan, Allina Health's vice-president of communications, said.

The nurses say they plan to strike indefinitely until their demands are met.

Allina released a statement Saturday morning saying, "Unfortunately, after more than 20 hours of bargaining, which included Allina Health making many significant compromises, the union chose to walk away from a great deal and move forward with its open-ended strike."

Allina said their latest proposal offered wage increases, a ratification bonus, an extension on the two most-used insurance plans, and a delay on the proposed cap on premium cost increases on nurse-only plans until 2019.

"We are extremely disappointed the union is rejecting a very good offer, and subjecting our nurses and our patients to another completely unnecessary strike," Allina said. "Our focus now needs to turn to continuing to provide high quality care, with or without some of our permanent nurses.  When the union is ready to move forward and accept a fair compromise, we will be there to meet with them."

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