Kaiser Permanente and more than 21,000 nurses across Northern California represented by the California Nurses Association ratified a new contract Monday, averting a looming strike.
Oakland, California-based Kaiser Permanente and the union reached a tentative agreement Nov. 17 after more than five months of negotiations. Terms of the four-year contract include annual wage increases, the addition of 2,000 new registered nurse and nurse practitioner jobs, a tuition reimbursement boost, the creation of a committee to address systemic racism and a requirement for Kaiser to carry a three-month stockpile of personal protective equipment.
“With this new contract, we will be able to recruit new nurses, retain experienced RNs, and most importantly, provide our patients with improved care,” Cathy Kennedy, a registered nurse at Kaiser Permanente Roseville Medical Center and president of the California Nurses Association, said in a news release.
Kaiser Permanente did not immediately provide a comment.
More than 1,000 registered nurses at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center ratified a new contract Nov. 22.
In October, more than 2,000 therapists, chemical dependency counselors and social workers in Northern California inked a new contract, after settling issues that included nurses claiming that insufficient staffing levels and long wait times jeopardized patients.
About 50 mental health workers at Kaiser Permanente sites in Hawaii with similar protests have been on strike since July. There were negotiations Thursday and Friday, but no agreement, a union spokesperson said.