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Nurses, Tenet have tentative deal on 3-year pact

Houston Chronicle, 6/22/10

By L.M. Sixel
Houston Chronicle
June 22, 2010

Registered nurses at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center and Tenet Healthcare Corp. reached their first tentative agreement for a new three-year contract.

The National Nurses Organizing Committee-Texas, the organizing arm of National Nurses United, represents about 300 registered nurses at the hospital.

The tentative agreement, which would provide 10.5 percent in raises spread out over three years, must be ratified by the nurses who voted to join the union two years ago, said Patrice McArthy, a registered nurse at Cypress-Fairbanks Medical Center and a member of the union bargaining committee.

"We're really, really proud of our achievement," she said, referring to the two years it took to hammer out the agreement and fight back a decertification election.

One of the key benefits of the agreement is the establishment of an independent registered nurse professional practice committee that will meet regularly to discuss patient care issues, she said.

Tenet spokesman David Matthews said Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center is pleased the agreement does not include language about mandatory staffing ratios.

"We believe staffing decisions need to be made at the hospital based on patient acuity and high clinical quality standards," he said.

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