Two nurses at a nursing station

The Newfoundland and Labrador Nurses Union has ratified the provincial collective agreement reached in May. The agreement applies to approximately 5,700 RNs in the province. (CBC)

Members of the Newfoundland and Labrador Nurses' Union (NLNU) have ratified the provincial collective agreement reached in May.

The NLNU said 97 per cent of nurses who voted were in favour of the agreement.

The four-year contract includes salary increases of two percent in July of this year and three per cent in July 2015. 

The agreement shares the same framework as was reached with other public sector unions, including NAPE, CUPE and the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Association.

A $1,400 signing bonus was included for full time employees, and prorated for those working less than full-time hours.

Also included are improvements in professional development and leadership.

NLNU President Debbie Forward said she was pleased that so many nurses supported the contract.

Forward said the agreement hit some important target points.

"One of the priorities for our members was wages. They certainly wanted to remain competitive so that we are able to recruit and retain registered nurses in this province," Forward said. 

"And the salary increases in this agreement do keep us, at some point in the four years, the best paid RN's in Atlantic Canada."

The agreement will be in place until June 30, 2016 and applies to approximately 5,700 registered nurses in the province.