Registered nurses at 320-bed Marquette (Mich.) General Hospital have ratified a new 31/2-year labor agreement.
The pact, which covers 324 registered nurses, was supported by 90% of those who voted, hospital and union officials said on July 1. They would not say how many voted.
The pact provides a 25-cent minimum hourly increase in the contract's first year. Wage increases of at least 2% are guaranteed in the second and third years. The agreement expires Jan. 31, 2001.
The registered nurses union is the only union at the hospital. Hospital officials said terms of the agreement will not affect other hourly employees.
"We are delighted to announce this historic agreement," said N. Bruce Clement, Marquette General's chief executive officer.
The nurses' union went on a 54-day strike in 1994 over wages, benefits and staffing levels.
"I think we learned three years ago that we had to change and do things differently," hospital negotiator Al Hendra said. He said the two sides began meeting in May 1995 in an effort to improve communication.
"What we found was we worked together," registered nurse Carolyn Hietamaki said. "Before, it was adversarial."