California Nurses Union Reaches Tentative Deal on Wages, H1N1 Flu
On Friday, the California Nurses Association labor union and Catholic Healthcare West reached a tentative agreement that would boost nurses' wages and scale up protections against H1N1 influenza, also known as swine flu, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The contract would affect 12,000 nurses working at CHW hospitals in California and Nevada. If the groups finalize the agreement, the nurses could receive a 20% wage increase over four years.
CHW's previous contract with CNA expired July 1.
During contract negotiations, CNA expressed concern that hospitals have not adequately prepared for H1N1 flu or provided enough N95 protective masks.
Under the new contract, CHW agreed to increase its supplies of N95 masks so nurses will not need to reuse them (Calvan, Sacramento Bee, 11/3).
In addition, the agreement would establish an emergency task force of nurses and hospital representatives to oversee H1N1 preparedness and set uniform standards. The task force also would manage communication, equipment, training and triage.CNA said the agreement will help the hospitals prepare for H1N1 as well as other communicable diseases (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 11/2). 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.