Nurses Reach Agreement with Sutter Novato Community
California Nurses Association Press Release, 4/15/13
Breakthrough Occurs As Hospital Drops Over 40 Concession Demands
Registered nurses have reached a tentative contract settlement with one more Sutter hospital, Novato Community in northern Marin County, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United announced today.
Following a pattern that has produced agreement at a series of other Sutter facilities, a breakthrough occurred when local hospital officials decided to withdraw over 40 contract concessions the hospital had pursued for months. The result – almost immediate agreement on a new three year agreement.
Novato RNs must still vote to ratify the pact. Membership meetings will be held soon.
“It’s been a long struggle to get a fair contract settlement,” said Novato RN Janet Urman. “We can now focus exclusively on continuing to provide the excellent care that we do to our patients at Sutter Novato Community Hospital.”
The key to the pact was the decision of Novato officials to take what CNA calls “a different approach to bargaining” – marked by their decision to pull demands for elimination of extended sick leave pay, and dozens of other contract concessions.
The new agreement, after nearly two years of often stalled contract talks, includes wage increases of 5 percent over the next three years, and a stronger than ever, unified RN membership at the hospital, nurses say.
“Novato nurses had to fight for this agreement like all the other Nurses in bargaining with Sutter,” Urman said. “We are glad we can finally move ahead and hope that the other Sutter facilities will settle soon as well.”
“We welcome the decision of Novato hospital officials to accept a fair contract settlement with the nurses – just as local Sutter officials have done in San Francisco, San Mateo, Sonoma, Lake, and Santa Cruz counties have done in the past year,” said CNA co-president Malinda Markowitz, RN.
“It’s long past time for the last Sutter holdouts in the Sutter East Bay Region and Vallejo to reach a similar decision, for the benefit of their community, their patients, and the nurses who they rely on to care for the patients,” Markowitz said.
With the resolution in Novato, the only remaining unresolved CNA Sutter contracts are with Alta Bates Summit in Berkeley and Oakland, Eden in Castro Valley and San Leandro, Sutter Delta in Antioch, and Sutter Solano in Vallejo.