Calif. Nurses reach tentative agreement with St. Luke’s Hosp.

Daily Planet Wire Services
Saturday July 13, 2002

The California Nurses Association announced today that it has reached a tentative contract agreement with St. Luke's Hospital in San Francisco, averting a potential strike that had caused the hospital to stop admitting new patients. 

Nurses' union spokesman Charles Idelson said the deal, hammered out late Thursday night, would increase nurses' wages by 21 percent over three years, increase pension benefits, award health coverage to retirees and require binding arbitration for staffing disputes. A joint nurse-administration committee would also provide oversight on the implementation of new state-mandated nurse staffing ratios. 

The 250 registered nurses at St. Luke's will meet to vote on the contract on Tuesday. 

The CNA has withdrawn its strike notice for St. Luke's, but says a July 17 one-day strike is still scheduled for four other Bay Area Sutter Health affiliates, including Alta Bates-Summit Medical Center's Berkeley and Oakland facilities, Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley and Sutter Solano Medical Center in Vallejo. 

Nurses at Mills-Peninsula Hospital facilities in Burlingame and San Mateo are voting today on an agreement reached last Saturday, and talks are scheduled to resume today at Alta Bates and Sutter Solano. Eden Medical Center talks broke late Thursday without an agreement. 

In response to the 10-day strike notice it received Sunday, St. Luke's immediately shut down its emergency room and initiated layoffs of some hospital staff. State health officials intervened, ordering the emergency room to reopen by Tuesday morning, but the hospital continued to refuse to admit new patients in other departments.