Nurses registered at the five major medical centers at the University of California (UC), 10 student health centers and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have reached a preliminary agreement with UC, which provides a wide range of improvements and protection for patients and nurses, as announced today by the California Nurses Association (CNA). According to the press release, the agreement includes staff based on patient needs, not budget, increased protection of workplace violence and sexual harassment, and increased protection of infectious diseases. According to a press release from the UC Office of the President (UCOP), the agreement provides for a 3 per cent annual salary increase for eligible nurses, quality health care at the same rates as other UC employees, and the same retirement benefits for new nurses as current nurses until the end of the contract. Maureen Berry, an NAC member, said the language in the new contract expressly states that the UC is responsible for the safety of nurses. Under the new contract, newly recruited nurses will receive the same retirement benefits as current UC nurses until April 2020. At this stage, both sides have the opportunity to reopen the issue to further negotiations. According to Randy Howell, an NAC-registered nurse, NAC has been working on the contract for more than 17 months – since May 2017. Nurses registered by the UC went on a sympathy strike from 7 to 9 May for their question of collective agreement with the UC administration. Randy Howell, a nurse and member of UC San Francisco`s negotiating team, said the contract was a huge accomplishment for both the safety of nurses and the safety of the patients who supervise them. The NAC bargaining team has secured expanded union rights for all UC nurses, including those who do not work regularly.
As a result, they have protection when protesting against uncertain conditions without fear of reprisal, according to the NAC press release. Howell said that protection is included around the shift rotation for nurses, which corrects the problem of mandatory job rotation at UCLA and UCSF. After nearly two years of negotiations with the University of California, the California Nurses Association has decided to approve four-year contracts. (Bruin file photo journal) The 12 per cent pay increase will help retain experienced nurses and recruit qualified caregivers, says an NAC press release. The University of California and the California Nurses Association (CNA) announced their four-year employment contract on Monday, which will affect nearly 14,599 registered nurses linked to the UC system. „We are pleased with this great performance which is not only an asset to RNs, but to everyone in our care. We have done this for communities across California because it is our duty to defend them,“ said Michelle Kay, a member of the negotiating team at UCB Student Health.