Union, San Francisco Officials Reach Agreement on Nurse Labor Deal
San Francisco officials and union leaders on Tuesday proposed a $20 million labor agreement intended to help recruit and retain nurses by offering higher pay, larger signing bonuses and nurse-to-patient staffing ratios higher than those mandated by the state, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The agreement was made between the city and the Service Employees International Union Local 790, which represents more than 1,500 nurses who work at the city-operated San Francisco General and Laguna Honda hospitals, as well as public health clinics.
Under the proposed contract, city nurses would receive a salary increase of 7% to 13% over the next year, depending on their tenure. Currently, the annual salary for a registered nurse working for San Francisco ranges from $73,034 to $90,246.
In addition, the signing bonus for new nurses would double to $5,000, and the city would double to $200,000 the amount of money it earmarks for tuition reimbursement for advanced training of nurses.
The agreement also calls for increasing the number of nurses assigned to each patient beyond state-mandated ratios.
The new contract would cost the city an additional $20 million next year. However, the contract would cost the city $7 million during the fiscal year that begins July 1 because the provisions would be enacted at intervals over the next year.
The new contract must be ratified by the nurses, who will vote on it early next week, and the Board of Supervisors (Gordon , San Francisco Chronicle, 6/22).
In related news, more than 100 beneficiaries of San Francisco-funded health care programs attended a hearing at City Hall on Tuesday to voice opposition to proposed cuts to the Department of Public Health's budget. The department, which has an annual budget of more than $1.1 billion, must reduce spending by about $7 million under Newsom's proposed budget. The mayor's proposal is being considered by the Board of Supervisors.
In particular, the beneficiaries protested plans to change the delivery of outpatient services for people with substance abuse problems and to eliminate the dialysis unit at SF General (Gordon , San Francisco Chronicle, 6/22).