MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Twin Cities nurses remained on the picket line Tuesday, awaiting a return to the negotiating table in hopes of striking a deal with Allina Health.

Tuesday was day nine of the Minnesota Nurses Association strike. More than 4,000 nurses walked off the job from five Allina hospitals on Labor Day after negotiations broke down.

The nurses say they are trying to be patient, but some say if the strike goes into October, they’ll have to consider other employment options.

The nurses association has been unable to reach a new three-year contract with Allina Health. The big issues are staffing, workplace safety and health insurance.

Allina wants to switch the nurses to the same health insurance plans as other Allina employees, but the union says the deductibles are too high.

Sara Schroeck, an assistant nurse manager who’s on strike, said there always hopeful that the end of the strike is near, but says Allina hasn’t made a move to make that happen.

“We’re always hopeful,” she said. “We invited Alina Health back to the table…what we have heard is that when they are ready, they’ll contact us.”

A spokesperson for Allina health says high-quality patient care continues to be the focus.

He also says no new bargaining sessions have been scheduled.