SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Ketchikan nurses ratify three-year labor contract after rallying for more staffing, higher wages



April 11, 2018
Wednesday AM

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - The Alaska Nurses Association praised the victory of its Ketchikan Registered Nurses local bargaining unit, which recently ratified a three-year labor contract agreement with PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center. Ketchikan nurse members voted overwhelmingly in support of the agreement, which followed several months of negotiations that ended with a community rally and three days of mediated bargaining.

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The contract helps to address nurses' concerns about safe staffing and includes increased training opportunities across multiple areas to ensure nurses are prepared to maintain exceptional patient care in times of high need. The agreement also addresses much-needed wage increases essential to recruiting and retaining highly qualified nurses at the medical center in a competitive health care market, and improved scheduling to prevent nurse fatigue and burnout. 

Quoting a news release from the Alaska Nurses Association, prior to the agreement, Ketchikan nurses were the lowest-paid nurses within the PeaceHealth hospital system, despite facing higher costs of living and challenges with recruitment. 

“We are excited to have reached an agreement on a contract that will provide opportunities for growth in our profession and help to retain our talented nurses in the Ketchikan community,” said Ketchikan Registered Nurses bargaining team member Rebecca Albrant, RN. “Ultimately, this agreement furthers our efforts to provide safe staffing and a high quality of care for all patients.” 

Ketchikan Registered Nurses is a local bargaining unit of the Alaska Nurses Association, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers.

“We congratulate the Ketchikan Registered Nurses bargaining unit on reaching an agreement that will support them in providing quality care to their patients, who in a small town like Ketchikan, are also their families, friends and neighbors,” said Donna Phillips, RN, Alaska Nurses Association Labor Council Chair. “Being able to not just attract new nurses, but also retain them and provide them with proper mentorship and training will translate to increased safety and satisfaction for our nurses as well as better patient care for the Ketchikan community.”

Ketchikan Registered Nurses' previous 3-year labor contract agreement with PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center expired January 31, 2018. The tentative new contract agreement was signed by the nurses' negotiating team on Febrary 22, 2018 and presented to voting members for ratification.



Editing by Mary Kauffman, SitNews



Source of News:

Alaska Nurses Association



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