St. John’s Nurses Vote to Approve 4-year Deal with CHW
Nurses at St. John's hospitals in Oxnard and Camarillo voted yesterday to approve a four-year contract with Catholic Healthcare West, the Ventura County Star reports. Service Employees International Union official Susan Franks said that 85% of the nurses voted in favor of the contract. The agreement ends a year of "bitter labor negotiations" over staffing levels and mandatory overtime that resulted in several "short term strikes" (Ventura County Star, 3/16). Key provisions in the contract include:
- Creation of a "joint nurse-management" committee to allow nurses to influence staffing decisions
- Inclusion of a "salary ladder" that considers experience when determining compensation
- "Improved" overtime pay
- Annual raises of 4%
- Guaranteed 12-hour shifts that cannot be eliminated unless two-thirds of nurses agree to a change
- A "freeze" on out-of-pocket expenses for nurses' health care plans (SEIU release, 3/15).
The Star reports that both union and hospital officials say the contract is "fair" and will help improve staffing levels (Ventura County Star, 3/16).
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