Newfoundland and Labrador's nurses have reached a new tentative deal for a four-year contract that includes a signing bonus and a modest wage increase. 

Nurses at a hospital station, 2009 file photo

Nurses in Newfoundland and Labrador have a new tentative deal. (CBC)

The Newfoundland and Labrador Nurses' Union and the provincial government announced the tentative deal simultaneously on Thursday, a day after union president Debbie Forward suggested on Twitter that a deal was very close. 

The agreement covers about 5,700 registered nurses who largely work with the regional health authorities. 

The deal follows the pattern set in previous contracts the government has hammered out with other public-sector unions, including NAPE, CUPE and the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Association. 

The agreement covers a wage increase worth about five per cent over the life of the contract, with a wage freeze for the first two years and increases of two and three per cent, respectively in the remaining two years. 

If approved, each nurse will also receive a one-time signing bonus of $1,400. 

In a statement, Finance Minister Charlene Johnson said the deal was "a fair deal which recognizes the valuable work of registered nurses in a fiscally responsible way."