Some 18,000 California registered nurses, members of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU), who work at 86 Kaiser Permanente hospitals and clinics are voting this week on a new contract. The agreement, reached after months of negotiations, will give the RNs a stronger voice on patient care and provides breakthrough improvements in workplace protections.
The union also called off a scheduled two-day strike this week against Kaiser Permanente.
CNA/NNU Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro praised “the unity of Kaiser RNs and their devotion to assuring the highest level of quality care for patients as well as protections for the nurses who deliver that care.”
The unions said a key to the settlement was the agreement by Kaiser to establish a new committee of direct care RNs and nurse practitioners who will work with management to address the concerns RNs have about care standards in Kaiser facilities. Zenei Cortez, RN, co-president of the CNA, said:
We have an agreement that will strengthen the ability of Kaiser RNs to provide the optimal level of care our patients deserve, while establishing additional security for nurses.
In addition to the new patient care and workplace protection improvements, Kaiser has committed to hiring hundreds of new RNs and to providing training and employment opportunities for new RN graduates. The agreement also provides significant economic gains and additional retirement security.