Deal may end long battle for Sutter, nurses

A 15-month battle between Mills-Peninsula Health Services and its nurses that culminated in three separate strikes ended Monday when the two sides reached agreement on a tentative contract.

The nurses in Burlingame and San Mateo struck the first deal among 10 Sutter Health hospitals where contracts have expired. Many other hospitals are scheduled for renewed talks in the coming weeks.

The 700 Mills nurses held a pair of two-day strikes and a 10-day work stoppage in March after their contract expired in June 2007.

The deal includes a 13.5 percent pay increase during the first 10 months and a total 17.5 percent pay hike in a three-year period. New pension options were also made available through the contract.

Nurses will also receive ergonomic training for lifting patients and be given increased meal and break relief, which were sticking points during the negotiation process.

The nurses will vote on the contract in the coming weeks.

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