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UC RNs Overwhelmingly Approve New Contract
Date:3/24/2008

10,000 Nurses Win Patient Safety Protections

OAKLAND, Calif., March 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Some 10,000 registered nurses at University of California medical centers throughout the state ratified a new contract by an overwhelming majority, the California Nurses Association announced today. The pact contains sweeping patient safety improvements, as well as resolving long-standing issues of pension and retirement healthcare security.

The agreement, which Beth Kean, California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee's UC director, called "a significant advance for the retention and recruitment of registered nurses," was voted on in membership meetings all last week, concluding on Saturday evening.

CNA/NNOC's UC RN bargaining team unanimously recommended ratification of the tentative agreement. Nurses voted on the settlement in membership meetings at UC facilities in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Davis, and Irvine, and student health centers in Riverside, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Berkeley, and Merced.

"We are very happy with our new contract -- it benefits UC nurses, UC patients, and UC," said Geri Jenkins, RN, UCSD, and a member of the CNA/NNOC Council of Presidents. "We have won the kind of patient care and staffing protections that will allow us to retain the high-caliber, experienced RNs needed to provide the quality care needed for our complex patient population."

"Preventing UC from instituting a policy that combines vacation, sick, and holiday pay that would have forced nurses to come to work sick was a top priority of our current bargaining," said Manny Punzalan, RN, UCLA-Westwood. "This was an important patient safety issue."

"Equity adjustments to our salaries at the lowest-paid UC medical centers means nurses at UC Irvine and UCSD are being better recognized for the critical role nurses play in the provision of patient care at our medical centers," said Tam Nguyen, RN, UC Irvin
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SOURCE California Nurses Association
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