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After months of negotiations and mediation, the Kansas University Hospital Authority Board voted unanimously Tuesday to approve management recommendations on pay for nurses, the hospital announced.
The proposal will increase base pay for nurses under the contract by 2 percent, reduce weekend premium pay and eliminate evening and night premium pay over three years. Premiums apply to shifts that nurses commit to working in advance.
While the board's decision is final, the contract will regularly allow either party to reopen discussions on pay.
In November the KU Nurses Association, an AFL-CIO-affiliated union representing 1,400 nurses at the hospital, rejected the proposal because it reduced premium pay. After mediation failed to resolve the dispute, the two sides appointed an independent fact finder to review it.
Because of Kansas "Right to Work" laws, the nurses cannot legally go on strike to protest Tuesday's decision by the board. On its Facebook page, the Nurses Association said that the board had instituted "an unfair contract that could erode the foundations of quality care as we know it."
The hospital has said the proposals are in line with current market trends. Bob Page, president and CEO of KU Hospital, said in a statement, "Our board was unanimous in their praise for the job nurses play in providing outstanding care for our patients."