New Agreement for RNs at Reborn San Leandro Hospital
Now Run by Alameda Health System, Protects RN Standards
Registered nurses at San Leandro Hospital have achieved their first ever contract under the hospital’s new owner, Alameda (county) Health Services who will begin operating the hospital at the end of this month. AHS will maintain prior contract standards the RNs had under the hospital’s former owner, Sutter Health, with some improvements in retiree health and pension benefits, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United announced today.
The new pact, ratified by San Leandro RNs in membership meetings Tuesday, follows a successful transition of the hospital from Sutter to Alameda County, the result of a long campaign by the RNs, CNA, community residents, and several elected leaders, especially Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan and San Leandro Mayor Stephen Cassidy, to save the hospital which Sutter had long threatened to close.
“We are proud of the San Leandro RNs who fought so hard over the past several years to protect this vital hospital for their community,” said CNA Co-President Malinda Markowitz, RN. “Their tireless efforts have preserved hospital care for their patients, and led to a great new contract for the nurses as well.”
CNA represents 200 RNs at the hospital, which community residents have said was vital to preserve, especially considering severe traffic congestion getting to hospitals elsewhere in Alameda County.
“The community of patients, citizens, CNA nurses, hospital staff and physicians banded together to send a strong message to Sutter Health and Alameda County,” said Carol Barazi, Operating Room RN the past 26 years. “Now the real health care needs of the people of our community will be addresses as opposed to selective needs based on profit.”
Lisa LaFave, a Recovery Room RN, added, “We have won a tremendous victory. San Leandro Hospital will remain open with all acute care services in place. Community interests have triumphed over corporate profits. We at San Leandro Hospital can turn our full focus to caring for our patients without looking over our shoulders.”
Under the new agreement, which runs through December 31, 2015, nearly all the terms and conditions of the nurses’ prior Sutter agreement continue. All the RNs will receive pay increases of 3 percent during the course of the contract, and fully paid employer health coverage.
In addition, the RNs will have improved retirement security through the Steelworker Pension Trust in a defined benefit pension plan, and an expanded retiree health plan.
RNs who retire before age 65 will receive “Bridge to Medicare” employer subsidies to buy insurance through the Covered California health exchange. RNs who retire at age 65 or beyond will receive lifetime employer contributions for Medicare supplemental plans. Legislation signed by Governor Brown earlier this month finalized the retirement plan agreement for the county and the RNs.