A tentative agreement was reached Thursday on a new contract for registered nurses at Kaiser Los Angeles Medical Center, averting a planned two-day strike set for next week.
The agreement includes what the California Nurses Association, which represents the nurses, describes as "economic gains and health benefit provisions to help retain and recruit experienced nurses, including no takeaways for pensions or retiree health,'' and "equity and inclusion provisions, including agreement to address systemic racism within the health care system.”
Other provisions include requiring the hospital to maintain a three- month stockpile of personal protective equipment, increased tuition reimbursement, comprehensive workplace violence prevention provisions, including expanding workplace violence prevention plans, and increasing the amount of paid time elected nursing leaders can spend addressing systemic nursing problems, according to the union.
The tentative agreement follows 18 months of negotiations between the union and Kaiser Permanente. The nurses held a one-day strike June 23 and an informational picket on Sept. 1.
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A vote on whether to ratify the agreement is set for Tuesday.
“This contract reflects our deep appreciation for the extraordinary commitment of our nurses throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as today's patient care challenges such as the flu and RSV,'' Kaiser Permanente said in a statement.
“Both Kaiser Permanente and CNA affirmed their joint commitment to working together to ensure the best possible outcome and future for our employees, Kaiser Permanente and our members and patients.”
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Registered nurses and nurse practitioners at 21 Kaiser facilities in Northern California also reached tentative agreements Thursday.