After 17 hours of negotiations, nurses represented by the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) on Saturday reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year contract with St. Luke's Hospital. They will vote to ratify the agreement on Wednesday, MNA said in a news release. The nurses' negotiating team is recommending a "yes" vote to ratify.
Nurse negotiators said they are pleased this agreement addresses staffing and ensures there are enough nurses to care for patients safely. 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. St. Luke's nurses also won the same workplace violence measures that MNA nurses in the Twin Cities agreed to in their contracts this past June.
In a prepared statement, St. Luke’s President and CEO Kevin Nokels said he is confident 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."
This agreement will bring them to parity with Essentia nurses by 2020. Wage increases for nurses will be 3%, 3.8%, and 2.25% over three years, respectively.
MNA will pull the strike notice filed with St. Luke's Hospital for the scheduled work stoppage scheduled on October 3.
Nurses have been negotiating with St. Luke's management since May 15. The contract expired on June 30. Earlier this month, Essentia Health nurses overwhelmingly voted to ratify the tentative agreement they reached with the health care system.