Henry Mayo nurses approve new agreement with hospital

Registered nurses at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia, Calif., have approved a new contract with the hospital, according to a Santa Clarita Valley Signal report.

Sixty-three percent of the hospital's about 650 RNs represented by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United voted to approve the three-year collective bargaining agreement during a pair of meetings Sept. 16 and Sept. 17. The nurses have been working without a contract since Jan. 22.

Approval of the contract comes after a months-long standoff between Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital and the nurses. The dispute prompted the union to threaten a strike on two occasions, according to the report. However, both strikes were averted as both sides continued negotiations.

Issues raised during the dispute included a proposal that would require disputes between the two parties to go through arbitration, in which a third party would step in to help both parties reach a resolution, according to the Santa Clarita Valley Signal. Both sides eventually decided to have an opt-out clause when it comes to arbitration. Under that clause, nurses could decide whether to pursue other methods for resolving grievances, the report notes.

The issue of whether nurses should be able to bring class-action lawsuits against the hospital was also part of the dispute.

Hospital management wanted it spelled out in the collective agreement that the nurses could not file class-action suits.

However, under the contract voted on this week, nurses will be able to file class-action lawsuits as long as they opt out of the arbitration process, according to the report.

Under the new contract, nurses will also "earn pay increases of up to 24 percent" over the life of the agreement, retroactive to January.


More articles on workforce and labor management:

Negotiations continue after Rhode Island Hospital workers vote down contract
900 workers, MidHudson Regional reach contract agreement: 4 things to know
220 California healthcare workers vote to unionize: 4 things to know

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