Angela Becchetti, a registered nurse from Abbott Northwestern- Alina, speaks at a press conference announcing the intent for the nurses to strike Thursday, Dec.1, 2022 at the Minnesota Nurses Association in St. Paul, Minn. (Alex Kormann/Star Tribune via AP)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Nurses at 16 hospitals in the Twin Cities and Duluth areas have authorized workers to go on a second strike, which union leaders said Thursday will begin on Dec. 11 if a contract deal is not reached in coming days.

The Minnesota Nurses Association said the walkouts will last until Dec. 31 at most hospitals; nurses at St. Luke’s hospitals in Duluth and Two Harbors will stay on strike until a deal is reached. Leaders of the association hope the vote will motivate hospital leadership to improve offers on pay, workplace violence prevention and staffing levels.

A similar vote in the fall led to a three-day strike of around 15,000 nurses. The involved Twin Cities hospitals, other than Allina, issued a written statement saying they will stay open during potential 10-day strike, though non-critical procedures may need to be rescheduled. Patients with urgent needs were told to continue to call 911 or go to emergency rooms, but may see longer wait times.