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Nurses' union, Stanford reach contract agreement

Ratification vote scheduled for April 7

The Committee for Recognition of Nursing Achievement (CRONA) and Stanford and Lucile Packard hospitals reached a tentative contract agreement Friday (April 1) after more than a year of discord that resulted in both sides breaking off communications at one point.

A ratification vote by the nurses is scheduled for Thursday (April 7), according to CRONA.

"CRONA and its executive board and negotiating committee are recommending that the nurses ratify this tentative agreement.

The hospitals and CRONA wish to extend their appreciation to Federal Mediator Greg Lim for his continuing efforts in successfully bringing the parties to agreement," union representatives said in a statement to its members.

The tentative agreement includes:

■ A retroactive wage increase of 4 percent, including for relief nurses, from the start of the pay period closest to March 31, 2010, through Feb. 6, 2011, for all nurses who are employed as of the date of ratification.

■ Relief nurse pay increased $1 an hour and retroactive through the same dates.

■ Wage increases: 4 percent increase for all nurses as of April 1, 2011; 4 percent increase for clinical nurses as of April 1, 2012; 2 percent increase for Staff Nurses III and IV as of April 1, 2012.

■ Discipline rules: Demotion from Clinical Nurse III or IV only after two written warnings or one higher level of discipline in a rolling 12-month period.

■ Educational assistance: Brings Packard and Stanford hospitals' contract provisions into alignment by increasing Packard assistance from $500 to $1,000 and by expanding Stanford's provision to allow nurses reimbursement as provided in the Packard contract.

■ All of CRONA's arbitration requests since March 31, 2010, will be honored by the hospitals.

The Professional Nurse Development Program, the most contentious aspect of contract negotiations, would be created as follows:

■ The contract expands certifications for non-Bachelor of Skilled Nursing III and IV and offers application into the Professional Nurse Development Program; offers exemption from certification for Bachelor of Skilled Nursing III and IV nurses with 20 or more years of service; CRONA will have input for the initial Professional Nurse Development Program selection panel and there will be no changes to Professional Nurse Development Program during the life of the contract.

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