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Meriter nurses voting on 'major tentative agreement' with hospital, union says
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UNITYPOINT HEALTH-MERITER | NEW CONTRACT

Meriter nurses voting on 'major tentative agreement' with hospital, union says

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Nurses at UnityPoint Health-Meriter have reached a “major tentative agreement” with the hospital and were in the process of voting on a new contract Saturday, the union representing the nurses said.

An agreement would avoid a potential strike on Wednesday.

“The agreement ensures that we have the time off we need to recover from the pandemic, that our sacrifices are valued and that we have a greater say and protections moving forward,” SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin said in a Facebook post.

Nurses were continuing to vote on the tentative contract Saturday, and more information would be released at a later time, the union said.

Meriter said in a statement Saturday, “We are extremely pleased to have reached a tentative agreement with SEIU. While we’re still awaiting final votes from the nurses, we’re optimistic that we will finalize the new contract soon.”

The announcement of a new contract comes about a month after negotiations between nurses and management began and a day after the union said Meriter nurses filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board against the hospital for allegedly violating federal labor law.

The union thanked community members, elected officials, faith leaders and others in its Facebook post for the support received throughout contract negotiations, during which nurses asked the hospital for more time off and increased pay, among other asks. The union also recognized the hospital’s administration for “working with us through this process.”

“We believe this agreement will be precedent-setting throughout Wisconsin and the nation, and we will stand with all of our fellow nurses, caregivers and essential workers to ensure everyone has these protections and a union voice,” the union said.


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