Minnesota nurses’ strike to end after new contract ratified

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Nurses at five Allina Health hospitals in Minnesota voted to approve a labor contract, ending a strike that has dragged on for more than a month.

A majority of rank-and-file members of the Minnesota Nurses Association approved the agreement Thursday.

The union and Allina Health say the nurses in the Twin Cities area will head back to work Sunday.

More than 4,000 nurses had been on strike since Labor Day. Health insurance benefits were a major issue in negotiations.

Union Executive Director Rose Roach said the agreement, reached earlier in the week, improves workplace safety issues, staffing policies and ensures health benefits won’t be reduced.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith said in a joint statement that they are “grateful this long and painful strike has ended.”