BOSTON, Mass. – The 3,400 registered nurses of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association, voted overwhelmingly on June 26 to ratify a new two-year contract that improves nurses’ compensation, professional development opportunities and ability to provide safe patient care.
“The solidarity and professionalism of Brigham nurses drives our ability to provide safe, high-quality care to many of the most medically complex patients in the world,” said Trish Powers, an operating room RN and Chair of the Brigham MNA Bargaining Committee. “This agreement represents the efforts of nurses who are powerfully united in preserving and improving patient care conditions, wages and benefits.”
The contract covers the period Oct. 1, 2018 to Sept. 30, 2020. The new agreement – negotiated over 15 sessions in 2018 and 2019 – is a successor to the previous contract that was struck on the verge of what would have been an historic Brigham RN strike in June of 2016.
“This round of bargaining was marked by professionalism and respect on both sides of the table,” said Kelly Morgan, a labor and delivery RN and Vice Chair of the Brigham MNA Bargaining Committee. “The result is an agreement that Brigham nurses were proud to ratify and that will ultimately benefit our patients and communities as well.”
Highlights of the new contract:
- Professional development:
- An additional paid professional development day (3 up from 2 for full-time and 2 up from 1 for part-time RNs). Nurses can now also combine their professional days over two years, helping them attend longer or out-of-state professional conferences.
- Tuition reimbursement increased to $3,000; allow tuition reimbursement for prerequisite courses without admission to a degree program.
- Reimbursement for certification and recertification will no longer be deducted from Professional Development funds – allowing RNs to complete certifications required for their practice while also advancing their education in other ways.
- Patient Care Conditions:
- New language providing the option of a less acute assignment for charge nurses or giving them the ability to coordinate with the nurse director or nurse administrator about available resources and needs on a given unit and shift.
- Effective on (and retroactive to) Oct. 7, 2018: 1% across the board and an additional 1.25% to Step 19
- Effective Sept. 29, 2019: 1% across the board and an additional 1.25% to Step 19.
- This will result in raises of 12% over two years for nurses on wage steps and 4.5% for nurses at the top of scale.
- On-call differential increased to $7.50/hour, retroactive to Oct. 7, 2018; Charge nurse differential increased to $3.00/hour, retroactive to Oct. 7, 2018.
- Pension: New pension plan language which updates the assumptions used to calculate annuities while maintaining the overall benefits of the plan.
Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association is the largest union of registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its 23,000 members advance the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Legislature and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.