Emanuel Medical Center Nurses Ratify Contract
Registered nurses at Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock voted by a 98% margin to join the California Nurses Association (CNA) last year. This week they celebrate the overwhelming vote to approve their first contract with CNA. The pact, covering more than 360 registered nurses at the hospital, features patient care and wage and benefit improvements through 2021and brings the nurses under the umbrella of a statewide contract between CNA and the hospital’s parent company, Tenet Healthcare.
Contract highlights include the implementation of a Professional Practice Committee, (PPC), a feature of many CNA contracts that focuses on patient advocacy and quality patient care.
“We are very excited to have achieved a contract that gives us a united voice in patient care issues,” says Maria Sullivan, RN, Surgical Department. “We’re so glad that nurses can now address the patient experience and patient outcomes through our professional practice committee.”
Joining the master contract successfully brings Emanuel Medical Center nurses up to the wage and benefit standards of other CNA-represented Tenet hospitals, and provides patient care provisions equal to those negotiated in other CNA agreements.
“There is no doubt this contract is a big win for nurses and patients,” says Sullivan.
The contract provides a Recruitment and Retention Committee selected by the nurses that will meet monthly to recommend ways to improve RN retention and promote continuity of care. The contract also provides economic gains that will help keep experienced nurses at the hospital.
“Nurse recruitment and retention is such an important issue for patient safety, and that is why we are so pleased with this contract’s competitive wages and protections for nurses,” says Kristi Carson, RN ED. “From day one we acknowledged that a contract for nurses is a contract for the community.”
The CNA/Tenet California master agreement covers approximately 3500 nurses at seven Tenet hospitals throughout California, including nearby Doctors Medical Center of Modesto. The agreement expires at the end of this year. Nurses look forward to joining their colleagues from across the state at the table when negotiations begin again.
RN Sherri Stoddard, a Labor and Delivery nurse at Tenet’s Sierra Vista Medical Center in San Luis Obispo County, and a member of CNA’s Board of Directors, welcomed Emanuel Medical Center RNs to the master agreement. “As union nurses we know there is strength in numbers. We look forward to standing shoulder to shoulder with Turlock Tenet nurses to advocate for our patients and our practice.”
“The RNs of Emanuel Medical Center set out on their quest for patient safety and great working conditions for nurses providing care to the community,” says Erika Peterson, RN, CCU. “We are happy to endorse a contract that provides a pathway to achieve our goals through protections and job security as well as health and safety improvements.”
Contract highlights include:
- Professional Practice Committee - A committee of nurses elected by their coworkers that meets monthly to discuss staffing and other nursing issues. Management will meet with the committee upon request, and respond to recommendations.
- Wage grid with guaranteed wage increases – Raising wages of Emanuel RNs an average of a 17% to align with CNA Tenet RNs in the area.
- Retirement - The agreement provides up to 2% in additional retirement contributions for nurses.
- Health Insurance – A fully employer-paid PPO plan (“the free plan”) covering nurses and their families will be maintained without increases to co-pays, deductibles, or out of pocket maximums.
- Paid Education Leave - Nurses will receive up to 18 hours of additional paid time off to attend continuing education classes of their choice.
- Job Security – If the hospital is sold, the buyer must hire substantially all nurses and the contract will continue to apply after the sale.