Press Release

Washington Hospital nurses ratify new contract with strong measures to improve patient safety and nurse retention

Nurses in front of state capitol building holding banners and signs: "Insist on an RN"

Registered nurses at Washington Hospital in Fremont, Calif., voted in favor of ratifying a new four-year contract on Friday, May 3, winning protections to improve patient safety and nurse retention at their facility, announced California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) today. The ratification finalizes a new collective bargaining agreement between nurses and Washington Hospital Healthcare System (WHHS).

“Ratifying this new contract is a major achievement for us as nurses and a union,” said Kim Lake, RN in the Birthing Center and CNA/NNU chief nurse representative at Washington Hospital. “Nurses fought hard and won on our key bargaining demands, achieving this historic contract for our members, patients, and community.”

Highlights of the contract include:

  • Health and safety: Precedent-setting standard expanding infectious disease protocols and workplace violence protections.
  • Meal and rest periods: Contract language that protects nurses’ ability to take meal and rest periods, including penalty pay in compliance with SB 1334.
  • Positions protected: Part-time positions are protected in the new contract, helping ensure safe staffing for patients.
  • Competitive compensation: A 22.5 percent across-the-board increase in wages over the life of the contract, which will support staff nurse recruitment and retention.

“This contract raises the standards for all nurses at Washington Hospital. This is truly a win for our members and our patients," said Evie Merritt, RN in the intermediate care (IMC) unit.

The new pact covers the period September 2023 to July 2026.

CNA represents roughly 840 nurses at Washington Hospital.

California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee is an affiliate of National Nurses United, the largest and fastest-growing union and professional association of registered nurses in the United States with nearly 225,000 members nationwide. NNU affiliates also include California Nurses Association, DC Nurses Association, Michigan Nurses Association, Minnesota Nurses Association, and New York State Nurses Association.