The big raises that averted strikes

Healthcare workers have participated in labor strikes across the U.S., citing concerns about staffing, patient care, working conditions and employee retention. But there are several situations where such walkouts were averted after contracts were reached with significant pay raises.

Here are three from 2022:

Note: Raises are listed in descending order. Raises apply to one contract year or multiple contract years.

Members of the California Nurses Association at 21 Northern California Kaiser Permanente facilities approved a new four-year contract. The contract, which covers more than 21,000 registered nurses and nurse practitioners, boosts wages for Northern California nurses by 22.5 percent over the life of the contract, according to a statement Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser shared with Becker's in November. Union members were set to strike on Nov. 21 and Nov. 22. However, the strike was averted after workers reached a tentative agreement. Workers approved the deal in voting that occurred from Nov. 22 to Dec. 2.  

Members of the Michigan Nurses Association at Ascension Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo approved a new three-year contract. The contract includes average raises of 20.5 percent in the first year of the contract, resulting in a new wage scale ranging from $33.44 per hour to $48.72 per hour, according to a union news release. Union members approved the new agreement Dec. 14 after reaching a tentative deal earlier in the month. Before the tentative deal, nurses had given their bargaining team the ability to call a strike.

Members of the Minnesota Nurses Association approved three-year contracts that include pay raises and language to address staffing. Under the new agreements, nurses in the Twin Cities will see raises of 18 percent over three years while nurses in the Twin Ports will see raises of 17 percent during that period, with pay retroactive to expiration of the prior contract, according to a union news release. Union members at 15 hospitals in the Twin Cities and Twin Ports approved the deals in December after reaching tentative deals and calling off a strike.

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