St. Luke’s Management, Nurses Reach Tentative Contract Agreement

Strike vote withdrawn Monday, nurses to vote on the contract Wednesday.

DULUTH, Minn.- In the early hours of Saturday morning, nurses at St. Luke’s reached a tentative contract agreement with hospital management. The nurses’ negotiating team is recommending a “yes” vote to ratify.

This comes after the nurses voted to strike last Monday. The nurses will withdraw the strike notice this Monday.

The new contract addresses the staffing shortage at the hospital, as well as calls for higher wages, bringing St. Luke’s Nurses’ wages to parity with Essentia nurses’ by 2020.

Within the agreement, nurses will receive a wage increase of 3%, 3.8%, and 2.25% over three years, respectively.

According to the Minnesota Nurses Association, the tentative agreement stipulates nurses will be paid short staffing bonuses if they are called in when the hospital cannot keep up with number of patients or the severity of patient conditions.

“I think that [patients are] gonna see a positive change in the amount of care and the amount of time nurses are able to spend with them in the hospital,” said Susie Moss, ICU Registered Nurse. “I think we’ll see a spike in patient satisfaction.”

“It feels nothing short of amazing.”

In a statement St. Luke’s President and CEO Kevin Nokels said:

“Early this morning, St. Luke’s reached a tentative contract agreement with the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA). St. Luke’s has worked in good faith toward the goal of achieving a contract that is fair to our valued nurses and helps preserve St. Luke’s future as an independent healthcare system. We are confident that the MNA membership will vote to ratify the proposed contract so we can move forward together as one care team to provide our patients and communities with outstanding care.”

Negotiations have been going on since May 15.

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