California registered nurses, members of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU), who work at 86 Kaiser Permanente hospitals and clinics in northern and central California voted overwhelmingly (93%) to ratify a new three-year contract reached last week. The agreement covers 18,000 RNs and will give them a stronger voice on patient care and provide breakthrough improvements in workplace protections along with economic gains.
One of the key provisions is Kaiser’s agreement to add 540 RN positions, which, the union says, should substantially improve the quality of care for hospitalized patients, as well as signaling a renewed commitment to RN training and employment opportunities for new RN graduates at a time when many hospitals have frozen hires.
Zenei Cortez, RN, co-president of the CNA/NNU, said:
This contract will set the national standards for all other hospitals to achieve patient protections and solidify the future of the nursing profession.