UC, Nurses Begin Contract Negotiations
The University of California and the California Nurses Association last week began negotiations on wages and other issues, including retiree health benefits and health insurance, for 9,000 nurses at the five UC medical centers, the Sacramento Business Journal reports (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 4/28).
Under a two-year contract approved in December 2005, CNA agreed to higher health insurance premiums for nurses and to abstain from participating in "sympathy strikes" with other unions during the term of the contract.
The contract would expire in June 2007, but changes to retiree health benefits, pay for mandatory breaks, health insurance and wages for 2007 would be open for renegotiation in the spring (California Healthline, 12/13/2005).
According to UC-Davis Nursing Chief Carol Robinson, the union and UC likely will disagree over wages, meal-and-break penalties and health benefits. Nurses want no-cost health coverage, but the university cannot offer nurses coverage that differs from what other employees receive, Robinson said.
The union is calling for a cap on increases to employee contributions to health plans. In addition, the union has proposed increasing wages by 10% to 19%, based on a nurse's level of experience, with additional increases taking effect after 20 years of experience.
Talks were scheduled to continue this week (Sacramento Business Journal, 4/28).