Chris Johnson, St. Luke’s Vice President, Strategy and Finance, joined the negotiation session for part of the day. He explained that the current economic proposal from the MNA, asking for a 36.5% raise over three years, equates to an additional $20 million annually. MNA asked for an economic proposal that demonstrates what we feel nurses are worth. A dollar amount cannot be placed on the value of a nurse. It is our responsibility to ensure that St. Luke’s is financially viable going forward in order to continue serving our patients, staff and community while remaining competitive to attract and retain nurses.

Several proposals and counter proposals were submitted by both parties and discussed. There was a lot of conversation about staffing, floating, pandemic and emergency preparedness, funeral and bereavement leave, and other leaves of absence. We also discussed keeping language in guidelines versus the contract so that both parties can discuss and have the ability to adapt as things change.

The contract expires today, but there are additional negotiating sessions scheduled in July. It is not uncommon to work beyond contract expiration.

Both parties felt progress was made today and we look forward to reaching a mutually beneficial agreement in our upcoming sessions.