21,000 Northern California Kaiser nurses ratify new four-year contract with strong recruitment, retention, and patient safety provisions
Union nurses at 21 Northern California Kaiser Permanente facilities voted over the past two weeks to ratify the new agreement
More than 21,000 registered nurses and nurse practitioners at 21 Kaiser Permanente facilities in Northern California voted overwhelmingly in favor of ratifying a new four-year contract, announced California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) today. Voting began on Nov. 22 and concluded on Dec. 2.
Kaiser registered nurses and nurse practitioners in Northern California had been in negotiations since June 2022. On Sept. 1, Northern California Kaiser nurses were joined by nurse colleagues at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center (LAMC) in holding informational pickets, for a total of more than 22,000 nurses. The Kaiser nurses had been set to hold a two-day strike on Nov. 21 and 22, but the strike was averted on Nov. 17, when they reached a tentative agreement with Kaiser.
“With this new contract, we will be able to recruit new nurses, retain experienced RNs, and most importantly, provide our patients with improved care,” said CNA President Cathy Kennedy, RN in the neonatal ICU at Kaiser Permanente Roseville Medical Center. "We are so happy that this contract adds more than 2,000 positions across our Northern California facilities. That is amazing and will improve staffing greatly."
Highlights of the contract include:
- Health and safety provisions to ensure nurses get the highest level of personal protective equipment (PPE), including the requirement to maintain a three-month stockpile of PPE, screening for infectious disease, and having the same PPE whether caring for patients who are confirmed or suspected Covid-positive.
- Comprehensive workplace violence prevention provisions that expand workplace violence prevention plans to all sites, such as hospitals, clinics, parking structures, and other sites and include an investigation process for incidents of workplace violence and trauma counseling for nurses.
- More than 2,000 new registered nurse and nurse practitioner positions, including 1,200 new graduate positions, 400 in specialty training, 300 float pool nurses, 80 acute re-entry nurses, 50 NPs, and 80 outpatient positions.
- Investment in education: Increased tuition reimbursement for education, so nurses can continue expanding their knowledge and skills.
- Economic gains and health benefit provisions to help retain and recruit experienced nurses, including no takeaways for pensions or retiree health care. The agreement includes wage increases over four years.
- Equity and inclusion provisions, including the creation of a new regional Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee comprised of two nurses from each facility to address systemic racism within the health care system, requirements for Kaiser to report demographic data to CNA, and a commitment to a workplace free from racism and discrimination.
- Patients first language, including agreement that health care is a human right and that we must end racial and ethnic disparities in health care outcomes, promote the delivery of culturally competent care, and expand the diversity of our health care workforce.
"For the first time, our contract includes equity and inclusion provisions and a commitment to a workplace free from racism and discrimination,” said Kennedy. “Under this new agreement, we will create a regional Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee to address systemic racism within the health care system. This is long past due. I am thrilled that Kaiser is committed to a workplace that is free from racism and discrimination and that Kaiser agrees that health care is a human right and that we must end racial disparities in health care.”
Registered nurses at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center ratified a new contract on Tuesday, Nov. 22.
California Nurses Association represents more than 22,000 nurses at 22 Kaiser facilities.
KAISER NORTHERN CALIFORNIA FACILITIES
Antioch Medical Center, 4501 Sand Creek Rd., Antioch, CA 94531
Fremont Medical Center, 39400 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont, CA 94538
Oakland Medical Center, 3600 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94611
Richmond Medical Center, 901 Nevin Ave., Richmond, CA 94801
San Leandro Medical Center, 2500 Merced St., San Leandro, CA 94577
Vallejo Medical Center, 975 Sereno Dr., Vallejo, CA 94589
Walnut Creek Medical Center, 1425 S. Main St., Walnut Creek, CA 94596
San Rafael Medical Center, 99 Montecillo Rd., San Rafael, CA 94903
Santa Rosa Medical Center, 401 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
San Francisco/South SF
San Francisco Medical Center, 2425 Geary Blvd., San Francisco, CA 94115
South San Francisco Medical Center, 1200 El Camino Real, South San Francisco, CA 94080
Roseville, Sacramento, Vacaville
Roseville Medical Center, 1600 Eureka Rd., Roseville, CA 95661
Sacramento Medical Center, 2025 Morse Ave., Sacramento, CA 95825
South Sacramento Medical Center, 6600 Bruceville Rd., Sacramento, CA 95823
Vacaville Medical Center, 1 Quality Dr., Vacaville, CA 95688
Redwood City Medical Center, 1100 Veterans Blvd, Redwood City, CA 94063
San Jose Medical Center, 250 Hospital Pkwy., San Jose, CA 95119
Santa Clara Medical Center, 700 Lawrence Expy., Santa Clara, CA 95051
Fresno Medical Center, 7300 N Fresno St., Fresno, CA 93720
Manteca Medical Center, 1777 W. Yosemite Ave., Manteca, CA 95337
Modesto Medical Center, 4601 Dale Rd., Modesto, CA 95356
The California Nurses Association/National Nurses United is the largest and fastest-growing union and professional association of registered nurses in the nation with 100,000 members in more than 200 facilities throughout California and nearly 225,000 RNs nationwide.