- Nearly 5,000 nurses at two Stanford hospitals in Northern California ratified a tentative agreement with the health system in a Sunday vote. Nurses will return to work Tuesday under new contracts, according to the Committee for Recognition of Nursing Achievement, which represents the nurses.
- The agreement includes measures ensuring staffing is based on acuity, and nurses in units with high-acuity patients — which have been difficult to staff — will receive additional pay, according to CRONA. It also includes across-the-board base wage increases and an additional week of paid vacation time, among other provisions.
- The hospitals said they were pleased "to reach a contract that reflects our shared priorities and enhances existing benefits supporting our nurses' health, well-being, and ongoing professional development," according to a statement.
The Stanford nurses are the latest to wage a strike with no end date, though it took just five days for the two sides to reach a deal on new contracts to bring the nurses back to work.
The strike started April 25, and the two sides reached a tentative agreement Friday.
Nurses' contracts expired March 31, and in negotiations they pushed for new contracts that focused heavily on recruitment and retention of nursing staff amid nationwide shortages and widespread burnout among the healthcare workforce two years into the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new agreement, which 83% of nurses voted in favor of ratifying, includes such measures, according to the union.
It includes wage increases "that keep up with the high cost of living in the Bay Area, rising prices and competitive nurse contract rates," the union said. Nurses will get a 7% wage increase in the first year of the contract, followed by two 5% increases in the second and third years.
It also stipulates that CRONA nurses will have a say when the system decides to select a new vendor to revamp its employee assistance program, and get access to counseling at Stanford's employee help center.
Nurses at Stanford's Lucile Packard Children's Hospital will also get a new rapid response team to address workplace violence incidents, and in-person training on emergency protocols.
As part of the Friday agreement, Stanford agreed to walk back plans to cut striking nurses' health coverage.
A nurses' strike last year unfolded along similar lines, when 2,000 healthcare workers at Catholic Health System's Mercy Hospital in Buffalo, New York, waged a nearly 40-day strike.
When that strike reached the one-month mark, the hospital announced it was cutting off striking workers health coverage until a tentative agreement was ratified. Within days, the two sides reached a deal to bring those on the picket line back to work.