LOS ANGELES: County Nurses Net Pay Raise, Ending Dispute
The battle by Los Angeles nurses for improved pay and patient care ended yesterday as the 5,000 nurses employed in county hospitals and health clinics agreed on a final contract that provides across-the-board 12% pay raises over three years. The Los Angeles Times reports that the settlement also includes "a commitment from county officials to push for more staffing and give nurses more of a role in staffing decisions" (Los Angeles Times, 10/2) The union had reached a "preliminary" contract with the county Oct. 26 (
California Health Line, 10/27). The settlement comes three weeks after a series of walkouts by the nurses, who had originally sought "better patient care" and a 15.5% pay raise. "The nurses are feeling very good about the settlement," Service Employees International Union Local 660 General Manager Annelle Grajeda said. It remains "unclear," however, how county supervisors will reconcile their promise to increase staffing with "a plan before [them]" to shrink "a looming deficit" by cutting medical staff (Los Angeles Times, 11/2).