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Talks between hospitals, nurses to resume

MINNEAPOLIS — Negotiators for 14 Twin Cities hospitals and 12,000 nurses are due to return to the bargaining table today, one week ahead of a scheduled strike.

The Minnesota Nurses Association last Friday filed a 10-day notice setting a July 6 strike date. Negotiations went nowhere one day earlier, with each side accusing the other of refusing to budge. The nurses staged a 24-hour warning strike earlier this month.

Staffing levels are the top issue, The union is seeking fixed nurse-to-patient ratios, calling it a matter of patient safety. But the hospitals say that would raise costs without improving the quality of care.

The union says more than 87 percent of its members voted to back an open-ended strike.

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