St. Luke's nurses call off strike

The union representing nurses at St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth, Minn., have called off an Oct. 3 strike after reaching a tentative contract agreement with hospital management, according to the Minnesota Nurses Association.

MNA leaders said in a news release that the tentative three-year agreement addresses staffing at St. Luke's and "ensures there are enough nurses to care for patients safely."

It also includes annual wage increases, short-staffing bonuses for nurses who step in when they are needed due to the number of patients or severity of patient conditions, and workplace anti-violence measures, according to the union.

The nurses' bargaining team has been meeting with hospital management since May 15.

Kevin Nokels, St. Luke's president and CEO, praised the tentative agreement.

"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," he told Becker's via email. "We are confident that the MNA membership will vote to ratify the proposed contract so we can move forward together as one care team to provide our patients and communities with outstanding care."

Nurses will take a ratification vote Sept. 25.


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