Five thousand striking nurses from Stanford Health Care and Stanford Children’s Health in California could return to work by Tuesday, if nurses’ union members approve a tentative agreement reached Friday night with the hospitals.
The three-year interim contract negotiated by the union’s Committee for the Recognition of Nursing Achievement and Stanford Health Care and Stanford Children’s Health would end a strike that began on Monday. Nurses will vote on the deal on Sunday and the results will be announced on Monday, the union said.
Stanford had planned to stop paying its share of premiums for striking workers’ employer-sponsored health plans starting May 1. But Stanford agreed on Friday that there would be no interruption in medical benefits.
“As we await ratification, we really look forward to welcoming our colleagues on Tuesday,” said Dale Beatty, chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care services for Stanford Health Care, and Jesus Cepero, senior vice president of patient care and chief nursing officer for Stanford Children’s Health, said in an emailed statement.
According to the union, the tentative agreement includes:
- language to ensure staffing and compensation levels match patient acuity.
- increases of 7% in 2022, 5% in 2023 and 5% in 2024.
- access and additional funding for mental health care.
- an extra week of vacation.
- increased retiree medical benefits and student loan assistance.
- faster responses to workplace violence.
- no interruption of the free medical plan for nurses and their families.
“From day one of our contract negotiations, nurses at CRONA have been unified in our goals of improving staffing and sustaining our profession. We have been strong supporters of our demands for fair contracts that give us the resources and the support we need to take care of ourselves, our families and our patients,” said Colleen Borges, nurses’ union president and pediatric oncology nurse at Stanford Children’s Health, in a press release.
Contract negotiations began in January and previous contracts expired on March 31. The parties called on a federal mediator to facilitate the negotiation process.
The Stanford strike is one of a handful of recent labor disputes at California hospitals.
More than 8,000 nurses and other healthcare workers at 15 Sutter Health sites in California recently staged a one-day strike over concerns about staffing levels and health and safety standards. And 2,000 members of the Service Employees Union International-United Healthcare Workers West who work at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles announced on Friday that they would go on strike May 9 over a contract with the target hospital. nonprofit that ended March 31.