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Published November 21, 2013, 08:39 PM

Virginia nurses, Essentia reach tentative deal

VIRGINIA, Minn. - Nurses in Virginia and Essentia Health have reached a tentative contract agreement, Essentia announced Thursday.

By: Forum News Service, INFORUM

VIRGINIA, Minn. - Nurses in Virginia and Essentia Health have reached a tentative contract agreement, Essentia announced Thursday.

“We were able to find common ground on issues such as health insurance and wages, and we came to an agreement that’s beneficial for both parties,” Essentia Health said in a statement.

The agreement still must be ratified by members of the Minnesota Nurses Association, who work at Essentia Health-Virginia. MNA representatives in Virginia did not immediately respond to calls for comment.

The nurses had been working under a 2011 contract that expired July 31. Talks with management began Aug. 9, said Denise Armstrong, co-chairwoman of the nurses’ negotiating committee, last month.

The nurses conducted an information picket in front of the hospital Oct. 25 to call attention to the ongoing talks.

Duluth-based Essentia Health and the nurses have been operating under the contract that began when the hospital was Virginia Regional Medical Center, owned by the city of Virginia. Essentia has been operating the hospital since late last year.

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