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Minn. National Guard staffs state-run SNFs.

Responding to a strike begun Oct. 1 by two unions representing more than half of Minnesota's 55,000 state employees, Gov. Jesse Ventura sent 1,000 members of the National Guard to staff state-run health facilities including nursing homes.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSME) and the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees (MAPE) voted to strike over pay and health insurance. The unions called for a walkout following the state's final offer of a $2.9 billion package of pay and benefits increases over two years. AFSCME is asking for about $90 million more than the state's offer; MAPE wants $50 million more. Ventura has argued that the state's taxpayers cannot meet the unions' demands and called the strike "unfortunate" in view of the events of Sept. 11 and a slow economy.

As this issue of CLTC went to press, no new talks had been scheduled among the state, AFSCME, and MAPE. John Wodele, a spokesman for Ventura, was quoted as saying that "from what I have seen, we may be in a situation where the strike may extend for a while."
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Title Annotation:national guard staffs state-run health facilities after labor union strike
Publication:Contemporary Long Term Care
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2001
Words:192
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