UC DAVIS: Medical Center, Nurses Battle over Wage Increase
As part of ongoing contract negotiations, the University of California offered UC Davis Medical Center nurses a 1% raise, but nurses balked at the offer, demanding a 15% increase and changes on mandatory overtime and sick leave benefits, the Sacramento Business Journal reports. The one-year contract, which covers all 8,000 registered nurses in the UC system, expires May 15. "We are still fairly early in the bargaining process. ... It was our initial proposal and I expect it to be increased significantly," Jim Ohnesorge, chief negotiator for the university, said, admitting that the opening wage proposal is the "lowest in years." Citing statistics that show UC Davis nurses earn 12%-18% less than their colleagues at other local hospitals, chief nurse negotiator at UC Davis Dawn Love said that "nurses will leave for better pay at other health systems" if the offer does not improve. The facility lost 216 registered nurses last year. The union also argues that the university disciplines nurses for using sick leave, forcing them to work while they are ill. Last Wednesday, the fight went public as nurses picketed outside the UC Davis Medical Center to garner public support (Robertson, 5/8).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.