Union nurses employed by five of the Twin Cities' six big hospital systems have ratified a three-year contract that will give them across-the-board wage increases and preserve health insurance and pension plans.
The Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) did not disclose vote numbers in its Tuesday night news release.
The new contract affects 7,000 nurses who are members of the Minnesota Nurses Association. They work at Bethesda, Children's Minneapolis, Children's St. Paul, Fairview Riverside, Fairview Southdale, Methodist, North Memorial, St. Joseph's and St. John's hospitals.
The contract's swift settlement contrasts sharply with contentious 2010 talks that resulted in a one-day strike. Nurses went into those talks arguing they didn't have enough help to ensure patient safety, but eventually agreed to a contract without the fixed nurse-staffing ratios they originally had sought.
This time, MNA nurses authorized their bargaining teams to enter into pay-only negotiations with five of the six hospital systems in the Metro Twin Cities. Only Allina hospital management refused to bargain under those terms.
On Thursday, the MNA and employers reached a tentative agreement with a 2 percent raise in each year of a three-year contract. The new contract will take effect June 1.
MNA represents about 12,000 nurses in the metro area. About 5,000 of them work for Allina facilities. Negotiations between nurses and Allina management have yet to begin.