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St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - It appears a threatened strike by 15,000 union nurses in Minnesota has been averted.

The Minnesota Nurses Association today announced the union and negotiators for hospitals in the Twin Cities and the Duluth area have reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year contract. A planned strike that was scheduled to begin on Sunday has been called off as the nurses review the proposed agreement and vote on it.

“This tentative agreement is a historic win for nurses and patients at the bedside,” said Mary C. Turner, RN at North Memorial Hospital and President of the Minnesota Nurses Association. “For years, hospital executives have been pushing nurses out of the profession by under-staffing our units and under-valuing our nurses. This tentative agreement will help to keep nurses at the bedside, where we will keep fighting to oppose the corporate healthcare policies which threaten our hospital systems and the care our patients deserve.”

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The tentative contracts boost the pay for nurses in the Twin Cities by 18% over three years, while the union nurses working for hospitals in the Duluth area would see their pay rise by 17%. Nurses in the Twin Cities will see their pay increase by 7% in the first year of the contract, 6% in the second year, and 5% in the final year of the contract.

According to the union, the proposed contracts include "unprecedented language one by MNA nurses to address chronic understaffing in our hospitals for the first time in history." A news release says the tentative agreements will give nurses a say and how staffing levels are set.

Carter Christmas Lights Show in Albert Lea, Minnesota

The Carter Christmas Lights Show is back on and is one of the most magical Christmas displays to see in Southeast Minnesota. Located in Albert Lea, Minnesota, you'll enjoy over 40,000 lights that come to life thanks to popular Christmas songs and many, many computers. See times and more info at the Carter Christmas website.

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