Backus Hospital, nurses reach contract agreement

Norwich — The William W. Backus Hospital and the Backus Federation of Nurses announced Wednesday night that a tentative agreement on an inaugural contract has been reached by both sides.

"I commend the negotiating teams for their good-faith efforts in achieving this agreement," said David Whitehead, Backus president and chief executive officer. "Achieving a fair and equitable first contract required thoughtful deliberation on everyone's behalf, and a genuine commitment to getting this done. Our focus, as always, is putting our patients first in all we do."

The three-year contract, which affects 400 registered nurses at the hospital, was achieved just over one year after Backus nurses voted to unionize and after 10 months of negotiations.

"This has been a long battle for us as a union," said John Brady, an RN in the Emergency Department. "The support we received from AFT Connecticut and AFT nationally was instrumental in our success."

The tentative contract agreement was ratified by a vote of the nurses Wednesday and will take effect immediately.

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