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After avoiding strike, Brigham and Women’s nurses approve 3-year contract

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A sign outside Brigham and Women's Hospital.Timothy Tai for The Boston Globe

Unionized nurses at Brigham and Women's Hospital voted Wednesday to approve a new three-year contract, formally ending a bitter labor dispute with one of the state's largest hospitals.

Officials at the Massachusetts Nurses Association declined to say how many nurses turned out for the vote, or how many voted in favor of the contract. The union represents 3,300 Brigham nurses.

Union and hospital leaders reached agreement on a contract in the early hours of June 26, capping 10 months of tense negotiations — just one day before a planned strike. Nurses had planned the one-day walkout to protest the hospital's position on wages, benefits, staffing ratios, and other issues. The hospital had planned to lock out the nurses for an additional four days while using replacement workers.

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After reaching agreement on a contract, the union called off its strike and scheduled a vote for members to officially ratify the deal.

"We are exceptionally proud of what we accomplished through our unity and with the help of so many supporters," Trish Powers, chairwoman of the Brigham bargaining unit, said in a statement. "Brigham nurses voted overwhelmingly today in favor of this agreement because it represents a win for patients, for nurses and for the public."

Brigham's president, Dr. Elizabeth G. Nabel, said in a statement: "We are extremely pleased that the three-year contract with the MNA was ratified and that this negotiation period, which has been logistically and emotionally challenging for every member of the Brigham community, is now behind us."

But as both sides made peace at Brigham's main campus, a separate bargaining unit of 385 nurses at Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital in Jamaica Plain plans to picket Friday amid tense contract negotiations there.

Brigham and its Faulkner campus are owned by Partners HealthCare, the state's largest health system.

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Priyanka Dayal McCluskey can be reached at priyanka.mccluskey
@globe.com.