Nurses Approve 3 Year Contract with St. Luke's Hospital

By KBJR News 1

Nurses Approve 3 Year Contract with St. Luke's Hospital

April 18, 2013 Updated Apr 18, 2013 at 11:27 AM CST

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Duluth nurses with Minnesota Nurses Association have approved a 3 year contract with St. Luke's Hospital that will raise their wages by 4.5 percent.

The agreement impacts 460 nurses and will take effect July 1st, 2013 and will last until June 30th, 2016.

"I'm very pleased that the bargaining unit turned out and ratified the tentative agreement. We still have many day-to-day activities to work on, such as staffing and scheduling, practicing issues to keep our patients safe," said Cindy Prout, RN, a member of the bargaining team.

Nurses reached a tentative agreement last week just one day after negotiations when more than 100 union nurses, family members and other union members showed up to welcome hospital negotiators to the bargaining table.

"The solidarity and support of all of the unions at negotiations was absolutely crucial to get the settlement that we reached. The sea of red was absolutely empowering to those of us at the bargaining table and gave us confidence that we would get the agreement we needed to pass," Prout said.

This time around, nurses and management settled their contract two months prior to the contract ending as opposed to 2010 when the contract was settled two months after.

During that round of talks, nurses also participated in a one-day informational picket of the hospital to draw attention to shortages in staffing levels.

In 2010, nurses won a Letter of Understanding to review the unit staffing grids, which resulted in increased staffing in some units and continues through the 2013 contract.

Posted to the web by Krista Burns