Ketchikan PeaceHealth Medical Center nurses and hospital officials have reached a tentative agreement for a new nurses’ contract.

Tuesday completed the fifth round of negotiations for the two sides, and this last round included a mediator to help them find a resolution.

PeaceHealth Marketing and Communications Manager Mischa Chernick says the new contract would cover three more years, and would provide a salary increase for younger nurses.

“There is a plan in place that will reach those goals for the developing nurses,” she said. “Those are the ones from two to 15 years of service.”

The Ketchikan chapter of the Alaska Nurses Association wanted that segment of the nurse staff to receive a wage increase, in hopes of retaining good nurses. The union argued that nurses here leave soon after training because they can earn more elsewhere.

The agreement still needs to be ratified by union members. Chernick says that vote is set for Monday, Feb 2nd.