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Encinitas nurses settle contract, receive salary increases

Nurses at Scripps Memorial Hospital in Encinitas have ratified their first union contract. The deal comes after two years of negotiations. The new contract makes nurses at the hospital among the highest paid in the county. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.

The new labor contract gives nurses across the board raises averaging six percent, with a four percent salary hike next year. Nurses will also get seat on a council that gives input on hospital practices.

In exchange, the hospital will retain a merit pay system that awards bonuses based on performance. And, nurses will not be required to join the union.

Nurse Judy Mills says she's satisfied.

Mills: It was a long, hard fight for two and a half years and I think we came to a good agreement and we got a good pay rate. And yes, we still do have merit pay, but we also have a percentage that we won.

Hospital officials say they're extremely pleased with the deal. Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

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