St. Luke’s nurses vote to accept contract dealNurses at St. Luke’s hospital in Duluth voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to ratify the tentative contract they had reached with the hospital last week.
Nurses at St. Luke’s hospital in Duluth voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to ratify the tentative contract they had reached with the hospital last week.
About 96 percent of the people who voted approved the contract, said Marie Pechek, a labor relations specialist with the Minnesota Nurses Association.
Fifty percent of the votes cast, plus one, was needed in order to ratify the contract.
The three-year contract, which covers 420 registered nurses at St. Luke’s, calls for no wage increases the first year, 1 percent the second and 2 percent the third year. The nurses also will see St. Luke’s contribution to their health plans increase.
But nurses had maintained that adequate staffing to deliver safe patient care was their biggest issue. To that end, the contract establishes procedures for temporaily closing a unit to patient admissions or transfers when nurses believe they’re unable to adequately care for patients. It was similar to language Twin Cities nurses recently won in their contracts.
As with their counterparts at SMDC Health System, St. Luke’s nurses had authorized a one-day strike if a contract agreement wasn’t reached. Both nurses’ contracts had expired July 1.