Kaiser nurses secure 12% pay increase in finalized labor deal

Registered nurses and nurse practitioners at northern and central California facilities owned by Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente ratified a labor deal with the healthcare giant.

The five-year contract covers 19,000 Kaiser Permanente registered nurses and nurse practitioners represented by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United. It includes an agreement from Kaiser to hire 150 new registered nurses to help ensure a smooth transition from Kaiser's existing GRASP patient classification system to Epic Acuity, according to a union news release. Most of those new hires (106) are expected to take place within the next 90 days.

"We made very positive strides towards safer care by achieving the addition of new RN resource positions as part of this agreement," said Diane McClure, RN, Kaiser South Sacramento. "We know that the care of our patients will benefit with the addition of these nurses who can supplement the current staffing levels with an extra set of hands to help in busy and difficult situations."

The contract also includes an across-the-board 12 percent pay increase and 3 percent lump sum over the course of the contract, according to a separate union news release. Additionally, it includes about 600 patient care coordinator RNs, who help coordinate patients' care following discharge. PCCs voted to unionize last year.

Zenei Cortez, RN,  Kaiser South San Francisco, CNA co-president, and chair of the nurse negotiating team said with the PCCs, "all Kaiser nurses will be better able to advocate for our patients from admission to discharge, resulting in better care and safer outcomes."

Debora Catsavas, senior vice president of human resources at Kaiser Permanente Northern California, was also pleased with the contract.

"The contract reflects our respect for Kaiser Permanente nurses and the excellent care they provide to our members and patients," she said in a statement to Becker's Hospital Review.

"The new contract represents our shared commitment to high quality, safe patient care, and demonstrates our agreement on common goals that support the best interests of our members, employees, and our entire organization. We are excited about moving forward and working together with our nurses to implement the new contract and further our mission of high quality, affordable care and service for our members and patients."

Healthcare workers approved a tentative labor deal in March. 


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