Vermont hospital boosts nurse wages 20%, gives tech workers $5,000 bonus

Burlington, Vt.-based UVM Medical Center and the Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals have reached an agreement that includes wage increases and a $5,000 bonus for technical employees, according to a Feb. 14 joint news release shared with Becker's.

The union accepted the UVM Medical Center wage proposal separate from negotiations for the remainder of the nurses' contract.

The agreement boosts nurse salaries by 10 percent effective within the next pay period, with an additional 5 percent increase in October this year and another 5 percent increase in October next year, the medical center and union said. Both parties will negotiate the rest of the nurses' contract later this year. 

"The majority of VFNHP members voted yes to accept this wage offer," Deb Snell, RN, union president, said in a news release. "We appreciate that UVMMC recognized the need to increase our base wages to keep our staff here at the medical center, and we truly hope that this will make nurses who were maybe thinking of leaving decide to stay. We are looking forward to sitting down at the table this spring and bargaining the rest of our contract. I believe that both sides recognize there is still work to be done, and we will be ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work this spring."

The union and medical center said the agreement also includes $5,000 bonuses to technical employees, whose contract will expire next winter. Imaging techs, who recently signed an agreement with wage increases, are excluded from the bonuses.

Stephen Leffler, MD, president and COO of the medical center, praised the agreement for nurses and technical workers, saying, "I am glad we were able to reach an agreement and that we can get wage increases out to our nursing and technical employees now, as they continue to work incredibly hard to care for our community during this challenging time."

The Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals represents more than 2,000 nurses and health professionals at the medical center. 

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