Voting Begins on Kaiser-CNA Contract
Nurses in Central and Northern California on Thursday began voting on a new contract with Kaiser Permanente that includes pay raises of 26.5% over five years, the Fresno Bee reports.
The contract would apply to about 14,000 registered nurses and nurse practitioners at 70 Kaiser facilities. Kaiser and the California Nurses Association, which represent the nurses, reached the agreement earlier this month. The previous contract expired Aug. 31, and if the new deal is approved, it would be retroactive to Sept. 1.
Under the agreement, nurses would receive incremental pay increases over the next five years, and union nurses who have worked at Kaiser facilities for 30 years or more would receive an additional 3% raise (Correa, Fresno Bee, 9/7). Nurse wages in the regions will be brought in line with those at Kaiser's San Francisco Bay Area hospitals, which are a few dollars more per hour.
According to CNA President Deborah Burger, the contract also includes language to enforce nurse-to-patient ratios and a requirement to submit disputes about staffing levels to an arbitrator for binding resolution (Goldeen, Stockton Record, 9/6).
Nurses must vote on the proposed contract by Sept. 26 (Fresno Bee, 9/7).