Nurses at Four Mercy Healthcare Sacramento Hospitals OK New Contract
Nurses at four Mercy Healthcare Sacramento hospitals last Friday approved a two-year contract, ending nearly three weeks of negotiations, the Sacramento Bee reports. Nurses at Mercy General Hospital, Methodist Hospital, Mercy Hospital of Folsom and Mercy San Juan Medical Center will receive a 1.5% raise in the first year of the contract and a 4% raise in the second year, in addition to caps on overtime, provisions for health benefits for retired nurses and a "right to binding arbitration to resolve staffing disputes." The new contract comes after 1,500 nurses, represented by the California Nurses Association, were on "the brink of a strike" three weeks ago after rejecting Mercy's original offer. The new agreement also institutes a graduated compensation rate for "more experienced" nurses and offers bonus pay for nurses who volunteer for overtime, helping Mercy cut back on expenses for temporary nurses. Mercy spokesperson Jill Dryer said, "It is a very competitive package, and we think it will help us in our efforts to recruit and retain nurses" (Rapaport, Sacramento Bee, 7/21).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.