The votes are still being counted and are expected to be finalized in early December.
More than 21,000 unionized nurses at 21 Kaiser Permanente hospitals in Northern California who were poised to strike are instead voting on a four-year contract with the mega-health system.
The tentative contract, comes after months of fraught negotiations and includes pay raises of 22½% over the next four years, was brokered earlier this month, averting a November 21 two-day strike that had been authorized by rank and file.
While the votes are still being counted and are expected to be finalized in early December, leadership at KP and the California Nurses Association / National Nurses United act like it already passed, with each side declaring victory.
"We not only won the biggest annual raises in 20 years, but we have also added more than 2,000 positions across our Northern California facilities," says CNA President Cathy Kennedy, an RN in the neonatal ICU at Kaiser Permanente Roseville Medical Center. "This will ensure safe staffing and better patient care."
KP says the new agreement "is driven by the changing economy, including inflation, significant changes in the marketplace and our commitment to providing our employees with excellent pay and benefits to attract and retain the best nurses."
The contract includes:
- Health and safety provisions to ensure nurses get the highest level of personal protective equipment, including the requirement to maintain a three-month stockpile of PPE, screening for infectious disease, and having the same PPE when caring for patients who are confirmed or suspected of having COVID.
- Comprehensive workplace violence prevention provisions, including expanding workplace violence prevention plans to all sites; an investigation process for incidents of workplace violence, and trauma counseling for nurses.
- More than 2,000 new RNs and NPs, including 1,200 graduate positions, 400 in specialty training, 300 float pool nurses, 80 acute reentry nurses, 50 NPs, and 80 outpatient positions.
- Increased tuition reimbursement for education.
- Pay hikes and health benefits upgrades to retain and recruit experienced nurses, including no takeaways for pensions or retiree health.
- Equity and inclusion provisions, including the creation of a new regional Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee to address systemic racism within the healthcare system.
- Patients first language, including agreement that healthcare is a human right, promoting culturally competent care, and expanding workforce diversity.
Registered nurses at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center (LAMC) voted yesterday overwhelmingly in favor of ratifying a new five-year contract, announced California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU). CNA/NNU represents 1,000 nurses at Kaiser Permanente LAMC.
LA Nurses Ratify New ContractIn a seperate deal, 1,000 nurses at KP Los Angeles Medical Center voted "overwhelmingly" to ratify a new five-year contract, ending more than one year of negotiations and avoiding a two-day strike, also scheduled to begin Nov. 21, CNA/NNU says.
"We fought for 14 months to get this new contract and we are happy that we won an agreement that will let us recruit and retain nurses," says Tinny Abogado, RN, KPLAMC. "This means that we can give our patients the care they deserve. It was also important that our new contract include health and safety protections for nurses and patients and a commitment to address systemic racism in healthcare."
“We not only won the biggest annual raises in 20 years, but we have also added more than 2,000 positions across our Northern California facilities.”
CNA President Cathy Kennedy, RN.
John Commins is a content specialist and online news editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.
The tentative contract comes after months of fraught negotiations and includes pay raises of 22½% over the next four years.
The agreement averted a November 21 two-day walkout by 21,000 nurses at 21 KP hospitals in NorCal.
KP says the new agreement 'is driven by the changing economy, including inflation, significant changes in the marketplace.'
In a related labor action, 1,000 nurses at KP Los Angeles Medical Center voted 'overwhelmingly' to ratify a new five-year contract.