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PMC nurses, board agree on new pact

MIDDLEBURY — The University of Vermont Health Network-Porter Medical Center and its nurses’ union have reached a tentative agreement on a new, three-year contract. Porter officials shared this news with employees in a Tuesday, Sept. 19 email.
Terms of the pact will be publicly released once the nurses’ union has formally ratified the document, according to PMC spokesman Ron Hallman. Members of the Porter Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals (PFNHP) are scheduled to hold a vote on Thursday, Sept. 21.
“We’re really excited about this contract,” PFNHP President Alice Leo said. “Our bargaining team has unanimously recommended that our members ratify the agreement.”
Hallman said both bargaining teams worked hard to reach what he called “a fairagreement.”
He added he believes the resulting pact puts the interests of PMC’s patients and residents first, and that it “honors the important role of our nurses in the care of patients and residents.” Hallman also called the contract “reasonable for our nursing staff, for our organization and for the remainder of our staff.”
PMC nurses and administrators have been in negotiations for several months. Union members have been emphasizing “safe staffing levels” at Porter through colorful yard signs and gatherings near court square and on the PMC campus.
The union includes nurses who work at Porter Hospital, Helen Porter Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center, and the network of around a dozen physicians’ offices affiliated with PMC.
The nurses’ current contract, finalized at the end of 2014, guaranteed salary increases of 2 percent during each of the three years of the deal. It also addressed some overtime, professional development and wage-scale concerns brought forward by the union.
Reporter John Flowers is at johnf@addisonindependent.com.

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