The nurses at the Leominster Campus of UMass Memorial HealthAlliance – Clinton Hospital, who are members of the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA), settled a tentative contract agreement with hospital management on Tuesday, Sept. 22.
The agreement — which comes after nearly 15 months of contract talks and a long hiatus due to COVID-19 — includes language that focuses on maintaining patient safety standards, as well language that empowers nurses and hospital management to build a more collaborative relationship over the coming months.
Highlights of the tentative agreement include:
- Maintenance of nurses’ patient assignment standards
- The creation of a new staffing committee that will be made up equally of MNA members and hospital management team members
- Improvements to workplace violence prevention language
- Fair wage increases that total 6.5 percent over the length of the contract
The four-year agreement, which includes one retroactive year, will run July 22, 2019 to July 21, 2023. The nurses must still vote to ratify the tentative agreement; a date for that vote is being scheduled. The MNA bargaining committee that negotiated the tentative agreement is recommending to members a vote of “yes.”
“Despite the many challenges we encountered in reaching this settlement, we are confident that this agreement will support the needs of everyone involved, especially our patients,” said Natalie M. Pereira, a Leominster Hospital RN and chairperson of the MNA bargaining unit. “Our RNs are looking forward to working in a manner that is more collaborative with management.”