Essentia Health nurses will vote Sept. 10 on a three-year labor contract with the hospital system, the Minnesota Nurses Association announced Wednesday.
The MNA — the union that represents nurses at Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center in Duluth, Essentia Health-St. Mary's Hospital-Superior and Essentia Health-Duluth (Miller-Dwan Building) — reached a tentative agreement with hospital negotiators Aug. 21 after three months of bargaining talks.
"The nurses' negotiating team is recommending our members vote to ratify the agreement," Essentia nurse and negotiations team member Chris Rubesch said in a news release.
The proposed contract includes a 3% pay increase the first year, 3% the second year and 2.25% the third year. The contract also includes wages comparable to what's in the Twin Cities nurses' contract, workplace violence protections that compensate injured nurses, extra emergency department pay to ensure adequate staffing, and student loan reimbursement up to a total of $3,600.
"Nurses also convinced Essentia to work with us on the Vision Northland project," Rubesch said in the release, referring to Essentia Health's planned $800 million campus in Duluth. "As the project moves forward, nurses will be advised about the transition, and we will meet with Essentia Health about the hospital expansion plans."
Nurses at nearby St. Luke's hospital continue to bargain for a new contract. The next scheduled bargaining date is set for Sept. 9, but the nurses' negotiating team has asked for dates sooner than that.