New Pact for 13,000 California, Nevada Dignity RNs
Protects Nurses Benefits, Pensions, Economic Security
Registered nurses at 28 Dignity Health hospitals and additional clinics in California and Nevada have ratified a new four year collective bargaining agreement that protects their health coverage and economic and retirement security.
The RNs, members of the California Nurses Association and National Nurses Organizing Committee-Nevada, both affiliates of National Nurses United, approved the new agreement by a large majority last week following voting meetings over five days across the two states. CNA and NNOC-Nevada represent 13,000 Dignity RNs, among 150,000 NNU members overall.
“This is a significant achievement, protecting the standards for patients and nurses that Dignity RNs have long fought to win,” said CNA/NNOC Co-President Deborah Burger, RN. “We congratulate the Dignity RNs for their consistent and unified advocacy for their patients and their colleagues.”
Under the agreement, all represented Dignity RNs will earn pay increases of at least 12 percent over the life of the pact, plus additional increases based on years of service.
In an era of growing employer and government attacks on health coverage and retirement security, the agreement assures maintenance of health coverage and employer-funded pensions for Dignity RNs through the life of the contract.
All other existing contract provisions, including extensive patient care protections and a supplemental insurance plan for RNs injured in workplace assaults or injuries, are maintained.
“At a time when unions are being targeted throughout the country, coupled with an aggressive administration of billionaires in charge of the economy and industrial relations, I applaud the Dignity nurses for ratifying this new agreement. We have protected our patients and our contract terms,” said Kathy Dennis, RN at Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento.
“Las Vegas nurses are delighted with this agreement,” said St. Rose Dominican, Las Vegas RN Melanie Sisson. “Our nurses turned out in large numbers to overwhelmingly ratify the agreement. We protected our contract that includes nurse-to-patient ratios that are crucial for our patients and nurses.”
Bakersfield RN Sandy Reding offered thanks to “our nurses who turned up at the meetings and ratification votes to endorse our tentative agreement with Dignity Health. In the current adversarial political climate, we have achieved a strong four-year settlement. The agreement will help recruit and retain nurses.”
“We are pleased that we were able to lock in substantial wage increases, over the life of this four-year contract,” said Joe Geiger, RN at Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria.
Geiger noted that from his facility’s first contract “to the end of this contract we just ratified, new grad rates will have risen 225 percent, and wage rates for RNs with 30 or more years experience will have risen 233 percent. At the same time, we have seen tremendous improvements to patient care and staffing, as we were able to achieve state mandated RN to patient ratio legislation through our union as well.”
Facilities covered by the agreement include:
- Arroyo Grande – Arroyo Grande Community Hospital
- Bakersfield – Bakersfield Memorial Hospital, Bakersfield Mercy Hospital campuses
- Folsom – Mercy Hospital; Glendale – Glendale Memorial Hospital
- Grass Valley – Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital
- Las Vegas – St. Rose Dominican Hospital campuses
- Long Beach – St. Mary Medical Center; Los Angeles – California Hospital Medical Center
- Merced – Mercy Medical Center
- Mt. Shasta – Mercy Medical Center
- Redding – Mercy Medical Center
- Redwood City – Sequoia Hospital
- Sacramento – Bruceville Terrace, Mercy General, Mercy San Juan Medical Center, Methodist Hospital
- San Bernardino – Community Hospital of San Bernardino, St. Bernardine Medical Center
- San Francisco – Saint Francis Memorial Hospital, St. Mary Medical Center
- San Luis Obispo – French Hospital Medical Center; Santa Cruz – Dominican Hospital
- Santa Maria – Marian Regional Medical Center; Stockton – St. Joseph’s Medical Center
- and Woodland – Woodland Healthcare
The contract runs through June 30, 2021.