Nurses at Steward Health Care hospitals approve new contracts

Registered nurses at three Florida hospitals have approved new three-year contracts with Dallas-based Steward Health Care.

Members of the National Nurses Organizing Committee, part of National Nurses United, approved the agreements over the last week, according to an Oct. 12 union news release. The contracts cover nurses at Coral Gables Hospital, Palmetto General Hospital in Hialeah, and Florida Medical Center in Lauderdale Lakes, all Steward Health Care facilities. Nurses at Palmetto General Hospital and Florida Medical Center approved new contracts, while nurses at Coral Gables Hospital approved their first contract.

"We are thrilled with all that we have achieved in the past few months, winning union representation this summer and now, in record time, a first contract," Dorotea Reyes, RN, a nurse in the intensive care unit at Coral Gables Hospital, said in the union news release. "We want our patients to know that our advocacy for them does not stop here. We are united in our commitment to improving their care and with the new contract we have an excellent tool for accomplishing this."

According to the union, contract provisions include implementation of a resolution process for staffing disputes; making more than two consecutive 12-hour shifts optional; protections against unsafe floating; and establishment of an infectious disease task force. The National Nurses Organizing Committee said other provisions include a new extended sick leave bank; eight hours of paid education leave time annually; and economic items including 8 percent to 27 percent pay increases over the next 20 months for nurses, plus an additional 2 percent raise for this year.

Steward Health Care spokesperson Josephine Martin provided the following statement to Becker's: "We value our nurses for their dedication and commitment to the patients, families and community. We are very pleased that we have reached an agreement that is beneficial for everyone."

The agreement runs through October 2025.

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