Eden Medical Center Nurses Reach Tentative Contract Agreement with Sutter Health, Avoid Strike
Nurses at Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley reached a tentative contract agreement with Sutter Health early Tuesday and averted an open-ended strike scheduled to begin tomorrow, the San Jose Mercury News reports (Gonzales, San Jose Mercury News, 7/31). Nurses' contracts at seven Sutter hospitals -- Eden; Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, which has hospitals in Berkeley and Oakland; Sutter Solano; St. Luke's Hospital in San Francisco; Peninsula Medical Center in Burlingame; and Mills Health Center in San Mateo -- expired between June 30 and July 5. Nurses at the hospitals voted in early July to authorize a one-day strike on July 17 if they could not reach new contract agreements. However, the (California Nurses Association, which represents the nurses, reached tentative agreements with Sutter Health to avert the one-day strike (California Healthline, 7/18). Nurses at six of the hospitals approved their new contracts, but the 350 nurses at Eden rejected their tentative agreement over concerns about retiree health benefits and the use of arbitration to resolve staffing issues (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/31). The new tentative agreement would provide employer-sponsored health benefits for retired nurses ages 55 and older who have more than 10 years of experience based on years of service. In addition, the agreement includes an 18% wage increase over the next three years. Eden nurses plan to vote on the agreement today.
In related news, about 100 pharmacy, laboratory and X-ray technicians at Eden plan to strike tomorrow unless they reach a new contract agreement. Hospital officials said that they have made arrangements for other technicians to "fill any open positions" in the event of a strike (San Jose Mercury News, 7/31).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.