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Sierra, Providence nurses in El Paso approve first union contract

El Paso Times, 11/27/13

Sierra, Providence nurses in El Paso celebrate victory. Photo by NNOC.

Registered nurses at Sierra Medical Center and Providence Memorial Hospital have ratified their first contract since becoming part of a national nurses union, the union announced recently.

The contract with the National Nurses Organizing Committee-Texas, a part of National Nurses United, the nation's largest nurses' union, covers about 750 registered nurses at the two hospitals.

It provides for pay increases of up to 8 percent over the next three years, the union reported. It bars mandatory overtime, which, union officials noted, helps reduce nurses' fatigue.

The contract requires each hospital to determine staffing by patient needs, not budgetary priorities, and allows nurses to review and adjust staffing levels with management, union officials reported. Nurses also have a contractual right to raise safety concerns with any assignment. Providence nurses voted last year to join the union, and Sierra nurses followed early this year.

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