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Nursing union withdraws strike threat after reaching deal with Children's Minnesota

Nurses had voted on Thursday in favor of strike action.

It appears as though the looming threat of a nursing strike at Children's Hospitals of Minnesota is over after union leaders struck a deal with the company on Friday.

The Minnesota Nurses Association announced Saturday morning it had reached a "tentative agreement" on a new three-year contract with the health system, and thus withdrew the threat of a strike.

It follows a 21-hour session between both sides' negotiators, that resulted in an agreement to address the rising cost of nurses' health insurance.

According to the MNA, the hospital agreed to cap the rate of increase of its most comprehensive insurance plan to match the increase the employer must play.

"No longer will nurses pay more of rate hikes than the hospital does," the MNA said, while Children's also agreed to pay 70 percent of the increase in rates for its second-tier plan, while nurses pay the remaining 30 percent.

They have also agreed to the largest wage increases they've had in a decade, with raises of 3 percent agreed for 2019 and 2020, and 2.25 percent in 2021.

This will help nurses "catch up with the cost of living," the MNA said.

The agreement will be put to nurses on Thursday, who will then vote on it. The MNA continues to negotiate with other Minnesota hospital systems, including Allina Health, North Memorial, and Fairview Health.

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