DULUTH - Duluth nurses represented by the Minnesota Nurses Association came to a Tentative Agreement with St. Luke's Hospital on a new three-year contract that would raise wages 4.5 percent. The three-year agreement is effective July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2016 and 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.
Both parties agreed prior to entering the negotiations to bargain over wages only. Doing so ensured for both sides that all current language remains 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.
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 17, 2013.
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.