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Associated Press, Published May 24 2010

Twin Cities hospitals urge nurses to resume talks

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Twin Cities hospitals are urging about 12,000 nurses to resume talks ahead of a potential one-day strike next month.

A spokeswoman for the 14 hospitals, Maureen Schriner, says Monday afternoon that the hospitals have told the union they would accept a federal mediator if that would help.

However, she says the current union demands are unacceptable. She says the proposed staffing rules alone would add $250 million annually to hospital costs in the Twin Cities.

Union negotiator Susan Mason calls the hospitals' statement "disingenuous" and claims the hospitals collectively made $700 million after expenses last year.

The members of the Minnesota Nurses Association overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike last week, which union leaders say would last one day. That date has not been set.

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Twin Cities Hospitals: http://www.twincitieshospitals.com/

Minnesota Nurses Association: http://www.mnnurses.org/

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.