Workers OK strike at 8 Twin Cities hospitals 16 May 12

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Workers have authorized a temporary strike at eight Twin Cities hospitals.

Ninety-one percent of union members voting favored authorizing a two- to five-day strike.

The union represents 3,500 nursing assistants, technicians and support staff. The union is required to give 10 days’ notice before striking.

Neither the union nor its members are commenting as they head back into negotiations Wednesday.

A spokesman for the eight hospitals calls the vote disappointing, but says they’re optimistic they can reach a fair settlement.

The Service Employees International Union Healthcare Minnesota represents workers at Bethesda, Fairview Riverside, Fairview Southdale, Methodist, St. John’s, North Memorial and Children Hospitals in Minneapolis and Children’s Hospital in St. Paul.

The Star Tribune reports the two sides have been negotiating since January. Wages and benefits are key issues.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press