Registered nurses represented by the California Nurses Association at Alta Bates Medical Center in Berkeley, Calif., approved a new contract, ending a lengthy dispute and strike threats.
Hospital negotiators demanded elimination of a union security clause, which would have created an "open shop." They dropped the demand but won a provision that will make it more difficult for the 800 nurses to accrue vacation and sick leave. It also allows the hospital to reduce the number of health plans available to nurses. The agreement provides for an average 8% wage increase over the next three years and includes gains in seniority, layoff and grievance provisions.
About 240 nurses at Alexian Brothers Hospital in San Jose, Calif., also approved a 21-month contract providing a 5% wage increase and an increase in the pension formula.