- Over 20,000 nurses and nurse practitioners at 21 Kaiser Permanente facilities in Northern California voted to ratify a new four-year contract with the system, according to a Monday release from the California Nurses Association, which represents them.
- The healthcare workers planned to wage a two-day strike starting Nov. 21, though they reached a tentative agreement with Kaiser on Nov. 17, averting the strike.
- New contracts include the addition of more than 2,000 new registered nurse and nurse practitioner roles, pay raises and enhanced workplace violence prevention measures, among other items, according to a union release.
The nurses and nurse practitioners who planned to strike have been in negotiations for new contracts with the system since June, and aimed to get measures to improve staffing levels and boost hiring amid ongoing, nationwide nursing shortages.
The addition of more than 2,000 new positions was a union win, and includes 1,200 new graduate positions, 400 specialty training positions, 300 float pool nurses, 80 acute re-entry nurses, 50 nurse practitioners and 80 outpatient positions, according to the union release.
Other items in the deal include language ensuring nurses have adequate personal protective equipment, regardless of whether patients are confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19.
The deal also spells out broader workplace violence prevention measures by expanding prevention plans to all hospitals and clinics. Kaiser will also create an investigation process for incidents and provide trauma counseling for staff.
The workers will also get raises over the course of the four-year contract, though exact amounts are unclear.
Last year, a similar-sized strike among Kaiser workers was also averted. As many as 28,000 healthcare workers at Kaiser facilities in Southern California were set to strike last November, though they reached a deal with the system just days before.