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Published September 13, 2011, 09:22 PM

Sanford Bemidji Nurses Endorse New Contract

BEMIDJI, MN (WDAZ-TV) - After eleven hours of negotiations last week, nurses in Bemidji are going to accept a new contract from Sanford Bemidji Medical Center a month after an informational picket.

BEMIDJI, MN (WDAZ-TV) - After eleven hours of negotiations last week, nurses in Bemidji are going to accept a new contract from Sanford Bemidji Medical Center a month after an informational picket.

Minnesota Nurses Association Chair Peter Danielson says nurses overwhelmingly endorse this contract and realize there is compromise with any contract, but can work with it.

“We are glad to have reached a settlement,” Danielson said. “It was a long, tough road, but we have an agreement in place that our nurses can feel good about. While to us this isn’t a perfect resolution, it is a compromise that helps put our patients first. This new contract takes some important steps by offering a specific timeline to help make management more accountable for improving unsafe staffing levels inside our hospital.”

Nurses rejected a previous offer because they said it lacked safe staffing language and cut benefits.

Danielson says nurses removed language that cut benefits like retirement and pensions.

However, he says nurses did compromise on staffing.

The nurses will work with a scheduling team to come up with a solution to safe staffing.

There is a 120 day deadline for improvements, otherwise Danielson says the nurses could do another informational picket.

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