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Associated Press, Published May 18 2010

Twin Cities nurses allege collusion among hospitals on contract offers

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Twin Cities nurses have filed a federal complaint alleging six hospital systems colluded on contract offers that union members will vote on Wednesday.

The Minnesota Nurses Association says Allina, Children's, Fairview, HealthEast, North Memorial and Park Nicollet all made similar contract offers after agreeing to negotiate individually on pay, benefits and staffing for the next three years.

HealthEast spokeswoman Anna Youngerman tells the St. Paul Pioneer Press that the hospital systems have a legal right to collaborate on bargaining. Youngerman says the complaint is "a distraction."

The union represents 12,000 Twin Cities nurses.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.