In the coming weeks, the union will submit the interim agreement to its 5,200 members across the province for ratification of the agreement. «The extension of this agreement supports the union, employers and workers.» The agreement has yet to be ratified by the union`s 5,200 members. If adopted, it would extend all aspects of the current collective agreement by two years, with changes to a wage increase and a reduction in long-term financial liabilities through changes to post-employment benefits for new workers. In an email to CBC News, the union indicated that current employees, who will qualify for group insurance in retirement by March 31, will continue to share the cost of premiums 50-50. If it is appropriate for retirement, new nurses hired after March 31 pay 60 per cent of the premiums, while the employer takes care of the other 40. «We believe this agreement is the best option for our members and we recommend adoption,» Forward said. The interim agreement, which has yet to be adopted by the 5,200-member union, contains a number of improvements for registered nurses, patients and the health system, including a substantive staff review in some areas that need to be done to assess the workload of registered nurses; Creating an additional 35 permanent floating positions; Extending maternity/adoption/parental leave and choosing benefits from 52 weeks to 78 weeks; and no layoffs to help the province achieve spending cuts over the life of the agreement. In April and October 2018, the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE) ratified 16 collective agreements, while the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) ratified seven collective agreements in December 2018. In January 2019, the government secured a ratified collective agreement with the Association of Allied Health Professionals (AAHP), while on March 4, the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers` Association (NLTA) ratified its collective agreement. Health Minister John Haggie said he looks forward to continuing to work with the nurses` union to improve the health care system in Newfoundland and Labrador. The union says the two-year contract extension involves pay increases and the renewal of the No-Lays clause for budgetary reasons.