Health & Medicine

UC hospitals, nurses’ union have tentative five-year deal that would boost pay 15%

After almost two years of negotiations, the California Nurses Association announced Saturday that it has a tentative contract agreement with the University of California that would boost pay 15 percent over five years.

“We are so proud of our nurse leadership for standing up for our patients, families and community,” bargaining team member Valerie Ewald, a UCLA-Santa Monica registered nurse, said in a CNA press release. “This victory would not be possible without the dedication and sacrifice we’ve made through the last 20 months of this contract fight.”

If approved by union members, the new contract would cover 14,000 registered nurses working at five UC medical centers, 10 student health centers and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory through October 2020, the press release said. CNA union members will begin voting on the deal sometime next week, the release said.

CNA touted that a “host of improvements and protections for both patients and nurses” are included in the agreement. Language in the contract would include workplace violence and sexual harassment protections and infectious disease protections.

“We think it’s a good agreement,” said Dianne Klein, a spokeswoman for the University of California, adding that both sides have been really diligent and professional about the process. “They wanted to make a deal, we wanted a deal and we are happy with this tentative agreement.”

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In May, CNA joined the University Professional and Technical Employees-CWA union, which represents about 15,000 health-care, research and technical workers, on the picket lines at UC hospitals and campuses across the state in support of AFSCME 3299, which represents 9,000 individuals who work in positions as custodians, groundskeepers, security guards, among others.

Overall, roughly 53,000 health-care, service, technical and research workers united to strike in support of AFSCME 3299’s protest over stagnate contract negotiations.

All three unions had been locked in lengthy negotiations with the UC at the time. Besides wages, their memberships had also expressed concerns at the time about patient care and a proposal by UC leadership to establish a 401k-style pension for new hires rather than maintaining the traditional pension.

Both the UPTE-CWA and AFSCME 3299 have yet to reach agreements UC, Klein said.