MINNEAPOLIS -- Nurses have ended their seven-day strike against five Allina Health hospitals as expected, but there was little apparent progress toward a new contract for the 4,800 union members.

The Minnesota Nurses Association began their strike June 19 after failing to negotiate a new three-year contract. The cost of nurses' health insurance remains a major stumbling block.

The union issued a statement saying members feel farther apart from the company and less optimistic about an agreement following the strike. Allina's chief executive, Dr. Penny Wheeler, says the company is eager to get back to the bargaining table. No talks have been scheduled.

The Allina Health hospitals include Abbott Northwestern and Phillips Eye Institute in Minneapolis, United in St. Paul, Unity in Fridley and Mercy in Coon Rapids.