Nurses at St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth reached a tentative agreement Saturday on a new three-year contract with the hospital and will call off a strike planned for Oct. 3.
The nurses, represented by the Minnesota Nurses Association, will vote Wednesday on whether to ratify the agreement. The nurses’ negotiating team is recommending they vote “yes” to ratify, the union said.
“Nurses are pleased this agreement addresses the staffing crisis and ensures there are enough nurses to care for patients safely,” the union said in a statement.
Under the tentative agreement, nurses will receive wage increases of 3%, 3.8% and 2.25% over the next three years, the union said. They will also be paid bonuses if they are called in when the hospital cannot keep up with number of patients or the severity of patient conditions. The agreement also provides St. Luke’s nurses with workplace violence measures.
St. Luke’s President and CEO Kevin Nokels issued a statement Saturday saying the hospital was confident the nurses would ratify the proposed contract.
“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,” Nokels said.
The nurses voted earlier this month to strike on Oct. 3 if a contract deal was not reached before then. The union represents about 650 nurses at St. Luke’s, Duluth’s second-largest employer.