Wahiawa General Hospital nurses Erlinda Kimura, left, Molly Gamboa, Bernina Rulloda, Maribel Calizo and Helen Dadulla gave a thumbs-up after voting yesterday. Behind them were Aida Padron and Noemi Juan.

Nurses OK
new contract

The Wahiawa pact includes a
19 percent raise over three years

Striking nurses from Wahiawa General Hospital yesterday unanimously approved a new three-year contract after the hospital and the Hawaii Nurses' Association reached a tentative agreement Tuesday night.

The deal includes a 19 percent raise over the term as well as a $1-an-hour longevity step for nurses with 10 years of service.

The vote ended at 9 p.m. yesterday.

Unknown is how many of the 60 nurses will return to work tomorrow. As the 11-week strike dragged on, the union said a number of nurses found jobs at other facilities.

"We won't really know how many there will be until they go back to work," said Ella Siroskey, a nurse in the facility's intensive care unit.

Many nurses took jobs at other facilities on a call-in basis, she said.

Siroskey said she would expect somewhere between 34 and 40 nurses to return to their jobs. But she said there are still many who have not made up their minds and some have been on vacation.

There are also those who may change their status to call-in at the facility if they are already settled working somewhere else. If any of the nurses do resign, they would have to give the facility 21 days notice in order to collect all benefits due to them, Siroskey said.

Since services were scaled back at the facility and some units closed, Siroskey said it will take a few weeks for all nurses to be integrated back into the system.


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