OAKLAND — University of California registered nurses voted to ratify a new contract Friday, the culmination of months of negotiations and a threatened strike that was narrowly avoided last month.
The nurses voted by 95 percent to approve a new contract. Final vote tallies were not immediately available.
The new contract was been lauded by the California Nurses Association for promoting the retention and recruitment of RNs and reducing the nursing shortage.
“This raises the bar for RNs and hospitals across the nation and sets a model that is being watched by nurses everywhere,” said CNA’s executive director Rose Ann DeMoro. “It’s a watershed event in the resurgence of registered nurses taking control of their practice.”
The new contract means staff RNs at the University of California at Los Angeles will earn up to $42.33 an hour — the highest rate for any RNs in Southern California.
In Northern California, the pay rate rises to $47 an hour for UC registered nurses.
“UC RNs are ecstatic with the monumental gains we have achieved for nurses and for UC patients who will benefit as the University is making an unprecedented commitment to retain its professional, career RNs,” said Maxine Terk, a UCLA RN and nurse negotiator.
The new contract also brings to an end UC’s merit pay system for nurses, which ties increases to evaluations by managers.