Members of the Minnesota Nurses Association voted overwhelmingly to ratify the tentative agreement reached between the hospital and the union. The vote sets in place a new three-year contract for St. Luke’s nurses, effective as of July 1, 2019, the union said.
Nurses at St. Luke’s had filed a strike notice with St. Luke’s Hospital after negotiating with management since May 15. It then held a marathon 17-hour negotiation session last week, culminating in a tentative agreement.
The negotiation team is recommending a “yes” vote.
“Nurses stood up and fought for solutions to the staffing crisis,” said Pete Boyechko, a St. Luke’s nurse and negotiations team member. “We’re proud that the hospital will have to address short staffing situations, and we hope more nurses will be hired so we can safely care for our patients.”
Nurses and the hospital agreed to add contract terms that provide bonuses for nurses called in when the number of patients or the severity of the patients’ conditions are greater than can be safely handled by the nurses on staff, the union said. St. Luke’s nurses will also see their payscales match those of the Essentia nurses in Duluth by 2020, which will allow the hospital to recruit and retain nurses for the future, the union said.