The Montana Nurses Association and St. Peter's Health based in Helena have ratified a collective bargaining contract for more than 300 nurses in the area.
Nurses with Local Unit 13 agreed to a three-year contract with St. Peter's Health with an average yearly wage increase of 5%.
Vicky Byrd, executive officer of the Montana Nurses Association, says the contract is forward-thinking.
“They want to retain and recruit nurses so they know they have to be at or above market to recruit the nurses in. We want them to stay, we want them to be able to afford housing and to live and to raise their families.”
Byrd says the bargaining process was collaborative and that nurses’ efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic were acknowledged.
St. Peter's Health provides care to 97,000 residents in Lewis and Clark, Broadwater, Powell, Meagher and Jefferson counties.
The ratification of the contract in Helena comes just weeks after nurses in Kalispell went on strike for better wages and benefits. About 650 nurses at Logan Health are represented by a different union and their negotiations are ongoing.