Duluth Nurses Come to Tentative Agreement with St. Luke's Hospital

By KBJR News 1

Duluth Nurses Come to Tentative Agreement with St. Luke's Hospital

April 10, 2013 Updated Apr 10, 2013 at 12:33 PM CST

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Duluth nurses represented by Minnesota Nurses Association have reached a tentative agreement with St. Luke's Hospital on a new three year contract that would raise wages 4.5%.

The three year agreement will take effect on July 1st and last through June 30th of 2016. The contract impacts 460 nurses.

“I don't think they (hospital negotiators) wanted to go through what we went through in the last negotiating session,” said Kate Donovan, RN, bargaining team member, "it was long and hard and it was upsetting to management. "

The bargaining team is recommending that members approve the contract.

“St. Luke’s is pleased to have reached this tentative agreement with the MNA and we hope our nurses will vote to ratify this agreement on April 17," says Sue Hamel, St. Luke’s Chief Nursing Officer.

Both parties agreed prior to entering the negotiations to bargain over wages only, so that all current language would remain intact.

"I don't think they (the hospital negotiating team) would have brought up the focused bargaining if they weren't ready to settle," Donovan said.

“We appreciate how dedicated our nurses are to patient care. We are looking forward to the ratification vote," says Marla Halvorson, St. Luke’s Director of Human Resources.

St. Luke's nurses must ratify the agreement by voting at United Baptist Church in Duluth from 7:30 am to 8 pm on April 17th.

Prior to sitting down at the table, nurses from Essentia St. Mary's hospital joined St. Luke's nurses for a solidarity event to welcome hospital negotiators.

St. Mary's nurses are expected to begin negotiating their contract this spring.

Posted to the web by Krista Burns