KAISER PERMANENTE: OFFERS NURSES NEW DEAL TO AVOID STRIKE
In hopes of preventing a threatened two-day work stoppage onThis is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
Thursday and Friday, Kaiser Permanente has offered a new wage and
benefits package to northern California nurses, San Francisco
Examiner reports. The package contains a six-year plan for most
Bay Area nurses that would freeze wages for one year, followed by
a two percent wage increase for each of the remaining five years.
The package also includes two more paid days off a year. "Kaiser
nurses in the Sacramento and Santa Rosa areas would get a
straight six-year freeze, coupled with annual two percent
incentive payments contingent upon 'improved patient
satisfaction,'" Examiner reports. The nurses have been working
without a contact since January 30 and staged a one-day strike in
April (see AHL 4/17).
AN INADEQUATE DEAL
Jim Ryder, chief negotiator for the California Nurses
Association (CNA), said the proposal was "inadequate and the
nurses had provided management a counter-proposal." In
particular, Ryder said "the counter-offer asked for a simple
salary cost-of-living increase based on the Consumer Price Index.
It also proposed a continuation of current benefits," Examiner
reports. At the negotiations, CNA pushed hard to allow nurses to
have more say in patient care decisions. Tom Debley, Kaiser
spokesperson, said that "Kaiser hopes to reserve all quality-of-
care issues for other negotiations at a 'separate table'
involving all of its 50,000 unionized employees nationwide"