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Sanford Medical Center and nursing staff reach tentative agreement

Signs throughout Worthington showed support Thursday for the registered nurses at Sanford Worthington Medical Center. Robin Baumgarn/Daily Globe

WORTHINGTON — With yard signs from the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) hanging across the city in a show of support for the nursing staff at Sanford Worthington Medical Center, parties reached a tentative agreement Thursday following mediation after months of negotations.

Union Steward Theanne Pagel said the nurses began their door-to-door campaign for support following an extended deadlock in negotiations with the hospital. Negotiations began in March, and the RN staff’s contract expired May 1.

Pagel said the signs were placed to inform the community of what has been happening and to let the public know the union believes well-compensated nurses, treated fairly, are good for the community.

At approximately 3:30 p.m. Thursday, representatives from both Sanford Worthington Medical Center and the Minnesota Nurses Association confirmed the tentative agreement had been reached.

“We bargained in good faith and the process worked as it is supposed to,” Pagel said.

Pagel added that the negotiations were an “overall positive experience,” and said parties were happy with the outcome. Pagel expressed appreciation for the support shown from Worthington residents, noting it was nice to see how much the community values nurses.

“The Sanford Worthington Medical Center RNs are happy to announce that a tentative agreement was reached today,” MNA Labor Specialist Sara Huntley said. “Details of the agreement will be provided to the bargaining unit members, and a ratification vote will be scheduled in the upcoming weeks. The Minnesota Nurses Association would like to thank the community for all of their support during this year’s contract negotiations.”

The registered nursing staff will continue working under their prior contract until a new one is signed.

Daily Globe Reporter Robin Baumgarn may be reached at 376-7323.