Nurses agree on contract terms with Stanford

Nurses at Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital reached a tentative contract for new collective bargaining agreements with hospital officials, the California hospital systems jointly announced Thursday.

The hospitals had been negotiating with union workers for nearly a year, but thanks to a federal mediator, both parties were able to reach the temporary agreement, reports the San Jose Mercury News.

The new contract would give nurses a 4 percent raise retroactive to April, as well as raises of up to 4 percent for the next two years, union president Lorie Johnson told the Mercury News. The nurses also will receive bonuses of up to $3,000 if they approve the contract by next Wednesday.

Johnson noted, however, that the agreement includes a new career advancement system that would make it more difficult for nurses to be promoted. The Professional Nurse Development Program would establish new certification and education requirements to reach or keep top-level positions--no longer evaluating nurses on their bedside skills--that may lead to demotions.

Hospital officials remain optimistic. "The hospitals are pleased to have reached a tentative agreement with the Committee for Recognition of Nursing Achievement," Lucile Packard Children's Hospital spokesman Robert Dicks said in a statement.

The 2,700 unionized nurses will vote on the new contract Dec. 13.

For more:
- read this San Jose Mercury News article
- here's the Stanford press release
- check out the tentative contract (.pdf)