Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Christine Emerson
Observer Staff Writer 

Nurses at Some Hospitals Sign Contracts, Avert Strikes

St. Mary Medical Center in Apple Valley, Providence St. Joseph Health hospitals, Queen of the Valley in Napa contract with nurses

 

August 22, 2016

Nurses strike in Bakersfield. St. Mary Medical Center in Apple Valley and Providence St. Joseph Health hospitals Queen of the Valley in Napa were able to make acceptable contracts with their nurses.

Nurses at two of four California hospitals ratified their new contracts. St. Mary Medical Center in Apple Valley and Providence St. Joseph Health hospitals Queen of the Valley in Napa were able to make acceptable contracts with their nurses, achieving a 95 percent approval rate on the vote.

According to the California Nurses Association, which represents 100,000 registered nurses statewide, two more hospitals are expected to have approved contracts today: Redwood Memorial Hospital in Fortuna and St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka.

Nurse Naomi Estrada-Mendoza stated, "It's been a long hard road, but by standing together in unity, we signed an amazing contract agreement." She added, "This is a big victory for patient care."

Key features sought and achieved by the negotiation between the hospitals and the nurses' union are staffing improvements, higher wages, increased benefits and vacation time. Specifically

Improved health care benefits and protections, with no increases to costs during the life of the agreement.

Additional RN holiday and educational leave, including opportunities to advance nurse education with paid time off.

Economic gains including an across-the-board wage increases of 14% over three years, new wage step increases for veteran nurses of 25-years and 30-years, and an increase in standby pay to $10/hour.

"This agreement really upholds our ability to provide the best possible care for our patients and our community," said Lois Sanders, RN.

 

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