Thousands of Minnesota nurses launch 3-day walkout over pay

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Thousands of nurses in Minnesota have launched a three-day strike over issues of pay and what they say is understaffing that has been worsened by the strains of the coronavirus pandemic.

The labor action starting Monday includes 15,000 nurses in seven health care systems in the Minneapolis and Duluth areas.

Those groups have recruited temporary nurses and say they expect to maintain most services. Nurses were seeking more than 30% increases in compensation by the end of the three-year contract. Hospitals have offered 10% to 12%.

The Minnesota Nurses Association says that unless benefits are substantially improved, the continued loss of nurses will leave hospitals vulnerable. The hospital systems say the nurses’ demands are unrealistic.