Nurses at 5 Twin Cities hospitals take strike vote

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Nearly 5,000 nurses at five Twin Cities hospitals are voting on whether to accept a new contract or to authorize an indefinite strike.

Leaders of the Minnesota Nurse's Association have asked their members to reject the three-year contract and authorize an open-ended walkout at five Allina Health hospitals. Thursday's vote comes just two months after a week-long strike ended without a deal.

Allina wants to transition its nurses to the same health plan as its other employees in hopes of saving $10 million a year. While the corporate plan carries lower premiums it also has higher deductibles. The nurses want to keep their union plans.

The affected hospitals are Abbott Northwestern and Phillips Eye Institute in Minneapolis, United in St. Paul, Unity in Fridley and Mercy in Coon Rapids.

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