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Mayo Clinic, nurses sign new contract in Austin

AUSTIN — After extensive negotiations, the Mayo Clinic Health System — Austin came to an agreement last week with 145 nurses on a new three-year contract that gives them a pay raise and improved benefits.

The contract's language calls for nurses to receive a raise of 9.25 percent over the next three years, while also improving health and retirement benefits. The nurses will also receive a voice with management during scheduling in hopes of delivering better services to patients.

The agreement came weeks after more than 50 nurses, along with family and friends, walked outside the Austin facility as a show of support during negotiations, which had dragged on for months and included 12 sessions. The previous contract was scheduled to expire April 1, though both sides agreed to continue under the old agreement.

Minnesota Nurses Association spokeswoman Jan Rabbers did not return phone calls, but the Mayo Clinic issued a statement on the contract agreement.

"We are pleased that we have reached this agreement with our nurses and pleased that the registered nurses will be receiving the same set of benefits that are being offered to employees across Mayo Clinic Health System," said Diane Twedell, chief nursing officer, Mayo Clinic Health System in the Southeast Minnesota region said in a written statement. "We look forward to the positive, professional and solution-based input from our nurses, and all our staff members, as we work in the best interest of our patients, their families, the communities we serve and the sustainability of our organization."

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