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University of California RNs Ratify New Agreement

Press Release Press Release, 5/27/11

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For Immediate Release
May 27, 2011

Praise Staffing Gains in One of Nation’s Biggest RN Pacts

Registered nurses at University of California hospitals and student health centers have ratified a new collective bargaining agreement that they say will strengthen patient protections for some of the best known hospitals in the country, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United said today.

The 26-month pact is the first multi-year agreement between CNA/NNU and the University of California in nearly a decade. Covering more than 11,000 RNs, it is one of the largest RN agreements in the U.S.

UC RNs voted on the agreement over five days, with final ratification occurring Thursday night, said CNA/NNU.

UC San Francisco RNs “were pleased with the significant protections requiring break relief coverage maintaining safe staffing at all times for our patients, (provisions) limiting the healthcare cost increases UC nurses will face in the next two years, and they solidly affirmed the agreement,” said Erin Carrera, a UCSF RN.

“UCLA nurses enthusiastically confirmed the multi-year contract,” said Manny Punzalan, RN at UCLA, “that will ensure the recruitment and retention of qualified nurses to continue the critical work of bedside nursing for our high-acuity patients at UC medical centers.”

The contract affects major UC hospitals at Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Davis (Sacramento), and Irvine, as well as student health centers at other UC campuses.

Key highlights of the pact include means to assure that RNs are able to take meal and rest breaks during shifts so they remain alert for caring for patients, and stronger contract provisions for facility RNs elected by their peers to address patient safety issues with managers.

Additionally the RNs were successful in limiting future increases in costs for their health coverage, rejection of contract concessions sought by UC officials, and won pay increases that will average at least 11 percent over the next 26-months for all the UC nurses.

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