CNA Says 8,000 University of California Nurses Will Vote Next Week on Strike
The California Nurses Association yesterday announced that nearly 8,000 University of California health system nurses will vote next Tuesday and Wednesday on whether to strike, the Los Angeles Times reports. UC officials and CNA negotiators have been attempting to renew a contract that expired at midnight Tuesday. At issue is a request by the nurses that the university implement pay raises based on tenure instead of its current system of merit-based pay raises, which they say allows some employees with just two years in the system to make more money than others with 10 years of tenure. But UC spokesperson Paul Schwartz said the performance-based system allows UC to "properly recognize quality nursing and quality patient care." UC Officials have proposed average pay increases of 13.5% over two years, with only nurses who have "unsatisfactory" performance ratings -- historically about 1% -- excluded from merit raises. The nurses also want the hospital system to eliminate mandatory overtime policies and immediately enact minimum nurse-to-patient staffing ratios. The CNA expects to release the results of the vote next Thursday. If approved, the nurse walkout would be the first in the history of the university health system. The union represents nurses from UC hospitals in Westwood, Santa Monica, San Diego, San Francisco, Davis and Irvine, as well as four student health centers on university campuses (Ornstein, Los Angeles Times, 5/3).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.