Significant Gains, Health, Retirement Protection
Registered nurses at Kaiser Permanente’s Southern California flagship hospital, Los Angeles Medical Center, have won their tentative collective bargaining agreement with the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United.
The tentative pact, affecting 1,300 RNs, follows 17 months of contract talks and two short term strikes – with the result that nurses achieved significant economic improvements, protection of health coverage and their pensions, along with patient care contract protections, CNA announced today.
LAMC will vote on the package, which includes wage gains of up to 34 percent over four years, Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 21 and 22. The RN bargaining team voted unanimously to recommend ratification.
We are enormously proud of the LAMC nurses who demonstrated over and over a spirit of collective unity to protect and improve standards for their patients and themselves,” said CNA Co-President Zenei Cortez, RN, a Northern California Kaiser RN and chair of the statewide Kaiser bargaining council.
“In an era of a full throated attack in Washington and many states by opponents of worker and union rights, and demands for austerity budget cuts in health care and retirement security, the resilience and determination of LAMC RNs is a model for the nation,” said RoseAnn DeMoro, CNA and NNU executive director.
“As a nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, I’m very proud of this agreement because it is going to help our patients. We will be able to recruit experienced nurses and improve staffing throughout the hospital,” said LAMC RN Aisha Ealey.
Other key provisions included establishment of a Professional Practice Committee of bedside RNs, elected by their peers, to meet with management to discuss patient care concerns in the hospital, and an agreement to prevent mandatory overtime assignments which can lead to nurse fatigue and patient accidents.
Additionally, the proposed agreement includes language to limit the inappropriate assignment (also known as floating) of new RN graduate hires to specialized hospital units for which they do not have clinical expertise. The pact would also reduce the over utilization of travel nurses who do not have familiarity with the hospital or patients.