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Nurses and Kaiser reach contract deal

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POSTED January 18, 2015 7:29 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The union that represents about 18,000 Kaiser Permanente nurses in Northern and Central California has reached a tentative contract with the medical provider and canceled a two-day strike planned for next week at 86 hospitals and clinics.

The California Nurses Association said the agreement announced Saturday will increase the pay for registered nurses and nurse practitioners by 14 percent over three years. RNs will also receive larger pension contributions.

The union said the settlement hinged on Kaiser agreeing to set up a committee to address patient care and workplace safety concerns the nurses have raised. The concerns include restrictions on patient admissions, early discharges, and insufficient training and equipment.

California’s nurses are affiliated with National Nurses United, the nation’s largest nurses’ union. Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro said the favorable terms of the Kaiser agreement could help improve working conditions for nurses elsewhere in the U.S.

“We look forward to a new chapter in our interactions with Kaiser,” DeMoro said.

Kaiser officials did not disclose details of the proposed contract, saying they wanted union members to get the chance to see it first.

But regional President Gregory Adams said the proposed contact met Kaiser’s goals of maintaining flexibility and affordability in the delivery of services.

“Although we have had disagreements at times with CNA, as this agreement reflects, we have been able to work through those disagreements, and ultimately agree on common goals that are in the best interests of our members, employees and our entire organization,” Adams said.

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