Nurses at Hemet Valley Med Center Win Economic Improvements, Strengthen Contract Protections
Registered Nurses at Hemet Valley Medical Center in southern Riverside County have reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year collective bargaining agreement that will provide economic improvements while rebuffing reductions in contract protections, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United announced today.
RNs at Hemet are voting on the proposed agreement in membership meetings at the hospital today. CNA represents 300 nurses at the facility.
Hemet RNs expressed relief at the agreement in which they staved off hospital management efforts to erode restrictions on unsafe clinical assignments and their ability to take needed time off. The settlement is especially gratifying, RNs said, after years of financial turmoil at the former district hospital that is now operated by Physicians for Healthy Hospitals/KPC Global.
Under the agreement, RNs will receive pay gains of 5 percent over the next three years on the years of experience wage grid. Specialty care RNs, who are not on the employer-sponsored health plan, will see a significant additional increase to correct past pay disparities. Compensation at the hospital has been lagging behind RNs at other hospitals in the region, which, nurses say, has made it difficult to retain experienced RNs and recruit new nurses.
In addition, the RNs won contract language that accords with current California law requiring safe patient handling measures to protect patients from falls and accidents and to reduce nurse workplace injuries.