Kaiser, Nurses Reach Tentative Contract Deal
Kaiser Permanente and the California Nurses Association on Friday announced a tentative contract agreement that would exempt nurses in Northern and Central California from an expected federal ruling by the National Labor Relations Board that would prevent some nurses from joining unions, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Under the tentative agreement, Kaiser will not "claim that any nurse or job classification covered by this agreement exercises supervisory authority" even if NLRB changes the definition of supervisors. The labor relations board is expected to decide within the next several weeks whether to classify thousands of workers nationwide as supervisors because they delegate tasks to other workers. Supervisors cannot be represented by a union (Mathews, Los Angeles Times, 9/2).
The agreement also would provide nurses with pay increases of 26.5% over five years, and would require that nurses in the Sacramento and Fresno areas earn wages equivalent to nurses in the San Francisco Bay Area, who typically earn more (Torres, Contra Costa Times, 9/2).
The agreement would apply to about 14,000 registered nurses at 70 Kaiser facilities in Northern and Central California. Nurses at Kaiser facilities in Southern California are represented separately and would not be covered by the proposed contract.
CNA President Deborah Burger said the agreement with Kaiser will be used "as a template for other employers in California" (Los Angeles Times, 9/2).
The agreement will be presented to nurses at ratification meetings that will be held through September. The previous contract expired on Thursday (Contra Costa Times, 9/2).