AGH, nurses agree to two-year contract

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Allegheny General Hospital and its registered nurses have agreed to a two-year collective bargaining agreement.

The nurses, represented by Service Employees International Union Healthcare, ratified the contract in a vote Wednesday.

The previous contract expired Sunday.

Transplant nurse Cathy Stoddart, president of the SEIU unit that represents AGH's registered nurses, said the new contract calls for 2 percent raises the first year and 2.25 percent the second year, with even higher raises for nurses eligible for an equity adjustment. The contract also retains their health coverage while adding nurse-to-patient ratio limits in units such as step-down trauma, transplantation and oncology.

The hospital also committed to hire more nurses, she said.

"We are excited," she said. "The hospital continues to make investments in front-line nurses. This is definitely a contract that recognizes we're leaders in quality at the hospital."

She said 87 percent of the 1,238 nurses covered by the contract voted in favor of ratification.

AGH spokesman Dan Laurent described the contract as "a fair and competitive agreement for our nurses while also economically prudent for our organization.

"This contract reflects a commitment by both sides to establish mutually acceptable terms in a productive and professional manner."

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Steve Twedt: stwedt@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1963. First Published October 17, 2013 5:40 AM


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