About 4,800 nurses at five Minneapolis-area hospitals have begun a weeklong strike over a contract impasse.
Members of the Minnesota Nurses Association members began striking at 7 a.m. Sunday at hospitals operated by Allina Health — Abbott Northwestern in Minneapolis, Mercy in Coon Rapids, United in St. Paul, Unity in Fridley, and the Phillips Eye Institute in Minneapolis.
The main dispute is over Allina's effort to switch union nurses to the same health insurance plans as more than 30,000 other Allina employees and their family members, which carry lower monthly premiums but higher out-of-pocket costs.
The union's president, Mary Turner, said Sunday that members will demonstrate for 12 hours each day outside of each of the five hospitals.
Allina plans to keep the facilities operating with replacement nurses.