KAISER NURSES: Strike Shelved For Negotiations
The California Nurses Association yesterday "postponed" a one-day strike against Kaiser Permanente originally planned for tomorrow. The postponement was announced "late Monday afternoon when both sides agreed to return to the bargaining table," the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports. CNA officials said the strike "is postponed indefinitely depending on the progress of talks." Today, both sides will meet with Richard Barnes, deputy director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, in Oakland. Kaiser and CNA officials "met informally over the weekend to discuss ramifications of several new developments in the 15-month impasse between the two." The Press Democrat reports that the CNA "is receiving renewed support from unions that lobbied Kaiser on the nurses' behalf." Local 250 Health Care Workers of the Service Employees International Union "reached a deal with Kaiser last week and then urged the company to 'reach an expeditious settlement with registered nurses.'" Three other unions -- the Teamsters, AFL-CIO and the United Auto Workers -- also called on Kaiser to settle with the nurses (Lauer, 3/24).
Getting Along With Mercy
In what is being called "the largest first contract for one newly organized group of registered nurses ... in more than a decade," Mercy Healthcare Sacramento and the CNA reached a tentative agreement early Saturday on a contract for 1,700 registered nurses at five Sacramento-area hospitals. The Mercy agreement is "an emphatic demonstration that CNA is overwhelmingly the choice for registered nurses," according to Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of CNA. Under the accord, Mercy nurses will receive a 12% pay increase over three years. The deal also contains various provisions to protect nurses voices in patient care decisions. The CNA notes that it is also negotiating contracts at Sutter Roseville Medical Center, Woodland Memorial Hospital and has won a "representation vote" at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo (release, 3/23).
Passing The Olive Branch
Nurses at Mt. Diablo Medical Center in Concord "have reached a tentative labor contract after a one-day strike slowed down hospital operations three weeks ago," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Neither the hospital nor the CNA would release details about the agreement, which will be voted on by the 400 Mt. Diablo nurses on Thursday (3/24).