Minnesota nurses plan to picket outside of three Twin Cities hospitals this afternoon.
Nurses will conduct informational picketing outside of Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina and Children's and United hospitals in St. Paul.
They'll protest nurse to patient staffing ratios that they believe compromise patient safety. They're also concerned about a plan that would substantially reduce their pension benefits.
About 12,000 nurses are in the final week of contract negotiations with six Twin Cities hospital systems. Both sides report minimal progress in negotiations so far.
Nurses are scheduled to vote on May 19th to either ratify a new labor agreement or authorize a strike, which could begin as soon as June first.
If all 12,000 Twin Cities nurses go on strike, it would be the largest RN-related work stoppage in U.S. history. The current record was set in 1984, when 6,000 Minnesota nurses walked off the job for five weeks.