Sutter Santa Rosa RNs Overwhelmingly Ratify New Agreement
Improvements in workplace safety, economic standards will help retain experienced nurses at the facility
Registered nurses at Sutter Santa Rosa Medical Center voted Tuesday night for a new 30-month collective bargaining agreement for the 350 RNs that will strengthen patient protections and maintain affordable healthcare coverage for nurses and their families, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United announced today.
The settlement came after the hospital withdrew proposals that would weaken nursing practice standards and patient protections, key issues for the RNs at the facility. Some of the proposed changes included reducing the ability of charge nurses, who make clinical assignments for their unit, to advocate for patients while increasing their own patient loads.
“A universal sigh of content was heard at Sutter Santa Rosa as the CNA RN membership overwhelmingly voted to ratify our new contract,” said Toril Hayden, an RN who works on a general medical surgical floor and is a member of the nurse negotiating team. “Our only concern now is that the remaining Sutter affiliates follow suit to ensure that a high level of patient care is maintained at all Sutter hospitals”
On health coverage for nurses and their families, the hospital had insisted on nearly doubling RNs' out-of-pocket costs for health benefits. A similar decision to abandon proposed takeaways prompted a settlement in December at a former Sutter hospital, Marin General in Greenbrae, Marin County.
The two settlements stand in sharp contrast with other Bay Area Sutter facilities that persist with the same hard line—pushing dozens of proposals aimed at the RNs ability to effectively advocate for safe care and erode safety standards that protect our patients.
“We are proud to have won a contract that preserves the patient care standards and working conditions that Sutter Santa Rosa RNs deserve, including affordable healthcare for nurses and our families,” said Nancy Anderson, an RN in the neo natal intensive care unit and part of the CNA nurse negotiating team. “We believe all Sutter Nurses deserve fair contracts, especially given the enormous profits being made by Sutter Health.”
Additional Key Contract Gains:
· Strengthened workplace safety protocols: Incidents of workplace violence in hospitals have been increasing, and many Sutter hospitals have stalled or refused to address inadequate safety standards that put nurses, patients, and families of patients at potential risk.
· Improved seniority rights to protect long-term experienced RNs
· Improvements on clinical educational leave, in contrast to demands by other Sutter hospitals to erode RN clinical education
· Protection against local RN work being contracted out to temporary agencies
For more information call Liz Jacobs, RN, 510-273-2232