Nurses Reach Tentative Agreement with Eden Medical Center, Avert One-Day Strike
Sutter Health reached a tentative three-year labor agreement with nurses at Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley late Sunday, averting a one-day strike planned for Wednesday, the San Mateo County Times reports (Marcucci, San Mateo County Times, 7/16). Nurses' contracts at seven Sutter Hospitals expired between June 30 and July 5, and nurses at the hospitals voted in early July to authorize a one-day strike on July 17 if they could not reach new agreements. However, the California Nurses Association, which represents the nurses, reached tentative agreements at six of the hospitals (California Healthline, 7/15). Nurses at Eden on Sunday became the last to reach an agreement The contract, which Eden officials proposed without recommendations from CNA, includes improved pension and retiree health benefits. Pat Strickland, a member of the nurses' team of negotiators, said, "Overall, it's a very good package." Eden nurses also were seeking lower nurse-to-patient ratios this year, rather than waiting until minimum nurse-to-patient ratios mandated by Gov. Gray Davis (D) take effect next year. Strickland said, "If nurses feel they want to take that fight, they'll indicate it by their vote. But I feel they'll take the contract." Nurses at Eden, Sutter Solano Medical Center in Vallejo, St. Luke's Hospital in San Francisco and Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, which has hospitals in Berkeley and Oakland, plan to vote on tentative agreements this week. Nurses at Mills-Peninsula Hospital have approved their new contract. According to the Times, "if nurses at any of the hospitals reject the three-year proposals, they could set the stage for new, open-ended strikes" (San Mateo County Times, 7/16).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.