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UC Reaches Tentative Labor Contract with Nurses

City News Service/San Diego 6, 11/19/13

SAN DIEGO - Unions representing registered nurses at the University of California, which operates a dozen hospitals, including in San Diego, lauded a tentative four-year labor pact that ended contentious contract negotiations.

Around 11,700 nurses at UC hospitals, including UCSD Medical Center, will receive pay raises of 16 percent over four years, according to a statement from the California Nurses Association and National Nurses United.

The deal, announced Saturday, also maintains a one-tier pension system and avoids proposed cuts to retiree health benefits, the unions reported.

"This is a contract we can be proud of -- no takeaways, no two-tier pension, and some real gains that will aid our fight for the highest standard of patient care into the future," said CNA board member Janice Webb, an RN at UC San Diego and chair of union's UC Statewide Bargaining Council.

The labor organizations canceled a walkout planned for Wednesday that was planned to offer support for other bargaining groups negotiating with the university system.

The agreement includes a no-strike provision for the length of the contract.

The CNA and NNU said the nurses will receive 4 percent pay increases annually, with most nurses receiving an additional 2 percent based on their years of service.

The unions said they also got UC to commit to providing help to nurses to lift patients -- to prevent nurse injuries, and allowing union nurses to select representatives to hospital committees that review and update patient classification systems. Decisions by those committees impact hospital RN staffing levels.

The nurses will hold ratification votes beginning later this week.


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