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The 125 nurses at Saint Charles-Redmond have reached a tentative contract agreement with the hospital.“We feel really good about it. This was a group effort, very tough decisions at time. We are in a tough economy. There is a certain amount that the hospital can do as far as wages and benefits and still be good stewards of the dollars that we have for the community.” If the nurses ratify it, Katy Vitcovich of Saint Charles says it will give nurses a 1% increase the first year and 2% the second and third years of the contract. Allison Hamway of the Oregon Nurses Association says this latest bargaining session was particularly difficult.

“I think it's because of the economic climate that has occurred since we last bargained. The hospital is in a more difficult financial situation, and our members are in a more financially difficult situation also.” Hamway says nurses will vote on the contract January 20th. Nurses in Bend already have a contract.

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