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Saginaw Nurses Approve First Contract
Date:5/9/2008

Celebrate Nurses Week with Signing Bonuses, Raises

SAGINAW, Mich., May 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nurses represented by the United Steelworkers at HealthSource Saginaw voted overwhelmingly last night to accept their first labor contract, giving full-time workers signing bonuses of $1,650 and first year wage increases of 4 percent.

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"This is the best Nurses Week I have had in years. The money is important, but this contract affords us the right to have a say in how our patients are cared for, which is important to every nurse," said Vicky West, nurse negotiator.

The three-year agreement addresses patient safety, the issue that kept the parties apart for months, by creating nurse-to-patient ratios and by establishing a committee of nurses and hospital management to discuss patient care issues.

"Arriving during National Nurses Week, this agreement is doubly special to this group that has worked so hard and long and held together so tightly," said Fred Redmond, USW Vice President responsible for health care negotiations. "And you know it meant a lot to them when only one nurse opposed it in the balloting," he added.

Part-time and call-in workers in USW Local 12075 will receive signing bonuses of $800. Part-time nurses will also receive the 4 percent raises in the first year of the 3-year agreement.

In addition, all full and part-time workers are to receive 3 percent wage increases in the second and third years of the agreement, which was won only after a protracted 2.5-year struggle with the hospital administration.

Call-in workers are to get $1 an hour wage increases in each year of the contract, raising the current rate of $31 to $34 an hour.

The United Steelworkers represents 850,000 workers across North America, including 40,000 in healthcare.


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SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)
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