The 300-plus nurses at General Hospital voted Tuesday to ratify a new, three-year contact that prioritizes nurse retention and patient care and includes “historic” raises, according to a release from their union.

Th pact includes wage increases of 18%, 3% and 3% over three years.

In the midst of a statewide staffing crisis, the agreement was reached between the Wyoming Valley Nurses Association/Pennsylvania Association of School Nurses and Practitioners (PASNAP) bargaining committee and hospital management last Friday.

At the forefront of negotiations were concerns about quality of care due to understaffing, union officials said. The terms, according to a release, were “overwhelmingly” ratified on Tuesday.

“We are thrilled,” PASNAP President Maureen May, R.N., said.

May mentioned that two years into the pandemic, healthcare system workers have been “severely stressed” and that the ranks of bedside caregivers have been “severely thinned.”

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