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Associated Press, Published June 17 2010

Minnesota hospitals to return to talks with nurses

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A group of 14 Minnesota hospitals are accepting the offer of the Minnesota Nurses Association to resume talks, but under one condition.

The hospitals want a pledge from the union not to strike before July 31. In return, the hospitals promise not to lock out any nurses before then.

A spokeswoman for the hospitals says in a statement Thursday that the group hopes the pledge will give both sides enough time to reach a deal and avoid another strike.

About 12,000 nurses went on a one-day strike on June 10, saying they wanted increased staffing in the hospitals and didn't want cuts to their pension.

A vote to authorize another strike is scheduled for Monday.

Hospitals spokeswoman Maureen Schriner says they are hopeful the talks can move beyond the union's staffing proposal.

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Online:

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

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

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.