Stanford, Lucile Packard nurses OK 3-year contracts, return to work

Nurses at Stanford and Lucile Packard Children's hospitals in Palo Alto, Calif., have ratified three-year contracts and will go back to work May 3.

On May 1, 83 percent of the Committee for Recognition of Nursing Achievement's nearly 5,000 members voted to approve the deals, affecting nurses at both hospitals, according to a union news release shared with Becker's.

"After extensive discussions, we were able to reach a contract that reflects our shared priorities and enhances existing benefits supporting our nurses' health, well-being and ongoing professional development," hospital leaders said. "We look forward to welcoming our union-represented nurses back … May 3. We appreciate the incredible effort that our entire healthcare workforce put forward last week."

Nurses at Stanford and Lucile Packard Children's hospitals began their strike April 25, nearly one month after nurses' contracts expired March 31.

The new contracts include a combined 7 percent base wage increase in 2022 (a 5 percent increase followed by a 2 percent increase); 5 percent in 2023; and 5 percent in 2024, the union said in its news release.

Nurses in certain areas, including emergency departments, intensive care units and critical care transport teams, will receive additional incentive pay, the union said.

Outside of pay, the contracts require a staffing model that "incorporates patient acuity and commits the hospitals to changes that ensure nurses with severely ill patients are able to safely take meal and rest breaks," according to the union.

Union President Colleen Borges, a pediatric oncology nurse at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, called the contracts "an enormous victory for nurses at Stanford and Packard, who have been fighting tirelessly for improved work and patient care conditions."

Dale Beatty, DNP, RN, chief nurse executive and vice president of patient care services for Stanford Health Care, and Jesus Cepero, PhD, RN, senior vice president of patient care and chief nursing officer for Stanford Children's Health, acknowledged that reaching an agreement has been challenging but said they are pleased one was reached.

Now "we can all take pride in this agreement. And we are proud of our team for maintaining continuity of care for our patients," they said. 

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