STANFORD UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: Nurses Reach Agreement, Avert Strike
Avoiding a strike set to begin Thursday, nurses from Stanford University's two hospitals reached a "tentative agreement" with hospital management yesterday. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the union representing nurses at Stanford Hospital and Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital, the Committee for Recognition of Nursing Achievement, ended a "two-month labor dispute" after a nine-hour bargaining session with hospital officials and federal mediators Sunday. Union leaders "declined to discuss details of the agreement" until they present it first to their 1,700 members tomorrow. A vote on the deal is scheduled for Thursday. "We're recommending they approve (the agreement). We don't come to a tentative agreement without believing it's satisfactory," said Donalda Dunnett, executive vice president of the union. Hospital officials also thought the agreement suitable. "We believe that we have reached a fair and equitable agreement that will meet the needs of our nurses and allow us to continue to deliver outstanding care to our patients," the hospitals' senior vice president of human resources, Felix Barthelemy, said in a written statement.
The Chronicle reports that at issue was the nurses' demand for a 12% pay increase, which they said was necessary to keep pace with the 5% increase in the Bay Area's cost of living. However, the hospital disagreed with the nurses' cost of living figures, saying the increase was 3.1% and offering them a 1% increase for two consecutive years, which was later raised to 6% over two years. The nurses "also cited safety issues related to 20- to 30-hour shifts," the Chronicle reports (Zinko, 6/9).