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MINNEAPOLIS - Members of the Minnesota Nurses Association and six Twin Cities hospital systems have ratified a new three-year contract.

Hospital systems covered by the contract are Allina Health, Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Fairview, HealthEast Care System, North Memorial and Park Nicollet.

"Policymakers, employers and individuals are asking hospitals to improve the quality of care while reducing the overall cost," said a news release from the six hospital systems. "This new contract will permit us to continue working with nurses and other caregivers to keep Twin Cities hospitals among the nation's leaders in delivering high-quality, safe care."

The new contract will be effective June 1 when the existing agreement expires.

The new agreement will provide MNA nurses with a 4.5 percent increase in pay over the three years and will keep intact current benefits, including health coverage and the pension plan, with no changes.

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