Nurses at Saint Louis University Hospital Ratify New Contract with Protections to Improve Patient Safety
Registered nurses at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital (SLUH) overwhelmingly ratified a new three-and-a-half-year contract, announced National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United (NNOC/NNU) today.
“Despite Missouri repealing laws and regulations on patient rights and staffing, we were able to secure in our contract RN-led staffing committees that can hold management accountable to its staffing plans,” said Sarah DeWilde, an RN who has worked for three years in the ICU at SLUH. “We also won language that affirms our rights as our patients’ advocates in the facility and which allows us to speak up when management is not acting in the best interests of our patients.”
“Through our strike vote, we won increases that will help us retain and recruit nurses who will fill the positions we need to give the safe standards of care our patients deserve,” said Earline Shepherd, an emergency room nurse at SLUH.
Highlights of the contract, which was ratified last night, include:
- Supporting safe staffing for safe patient care. The new contract includes new advocacy language and maintains the staffing committee to protect patients.
- Short-term disability and maternity leave benefits. Nurses won a new employer-paid short-term disability plan and maternity leave.
- Economic gains and health benefit protections to help retain and recruit experienced nurses. The new contract includes across-the-board pay increases of 8 to 31 percent, with a 19 percent median increase over the three-and-a-half-year term, with additional wage step increases. Previous wages had been 10 percent below market. The contract also retains health benefits, with no takeaways.
National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United represents nearly 700 nurses at Saint Louis University Hospital. NNOC/NNU has represented Saint Louis University Hospital RNs since 2012.