Alvarado Hospital Nurses Vote To Join California Nurses Association
Registered nurses at Alvarado Hospital Medical Center in San Diego on Monday voted to join the California Nurses Association, making it the seventh Tenet Healthcare hospital in the state to join the union in the past month, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Of the 226 nurses who voted, 68% favored joining CNA. By unionizing, the nurses will receive an immediate 8% pay raise and a 22% raise over the next three years. The wage increases are among the terms of an agreement the union has with all Tenet facilities. In exchange, unionized nurses have agreed not to strike or seek further wage increases for seven years, according to David Langness, a spokesperson for Tenet. During upcoming weeks, Alvarado Hospital nurses will begin a local bargaining process with management to work out other details of the contract. As a result of joining CNA, the nurses will have "a greater voice regarding patient care and a greater sense of job security," given Tenet's legal and financial situation, according to union organizer Susan Gorney, who works in the hospital's intensive health care unit, the Union-Tribune reports (Berestein, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3/3). Tenet faces separate probes by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, the Department of Health Services, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the HHS Office of Inspector General, the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission related to alleged Medicare fraud and other issues. The company also faces an investigation by the Florida Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles. The investigations, coupled with smaller-than-expected payment increases from managed care plans, led to weak revenues, prompting the company to announce in January that it was selling 27 of its 100 hospitals -- 19 of which are in California (California Healthline, 1/28). "Because of the instability, and just the fluctuation in the health care industry, it gave the nurses a lot more security having a contract in place, rather than just relying on corporate policy," Gorney said (San Diego Union-Tribune, 3/3).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.