Stanford, Packard nurses ratify contract

Year-long struggle finally resolved with help of federal mediator

Stanford and Lucile Packard hospitals nurses voted April 7 to accept a tentative contract hammered out by its union with the help of a federal mediator.

The agreement comes more than a year after their contract expired on March 31, 2010, and nurses voted to strike if necessary.

The Committee for Recognition of Nursing Achievement (CRONA), which represents 2,700 of the hospitals' nurses, said 76 percent of the nurses voted in favor of the new contract.

"This has been a long and tumultuous process. While the contract has many problems, we were able to make important improvements only because you remained united behind CRONA. It is this solidarity that will carry us through the next negotiations that will begin in January 2013," President Lorie Johnson wrote to the membership.

"We are very proud of our membership and how we stood together and refused to let the hospitals impose an unfair contract on us."

The contentious negotiations brought the nurses close to a strike, with sticking points over paid leave and promotions. But a federal mediator asked both sides to return to the bargaining table after the nurses voted in March to allow CRONA to call a strike if necessary.

Hospitals spokespersons said they were pleased with the agreement.

"We are very pleased to have reached agreement on new contracts for our nurses," Greg Souza, vice president of human resources for Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, said.

"The new contracts will result in a 4 percent retroactive pay raise for nurses -- in addition to other wage increases -- and will advance nursing practice and programs to provide our patients with the very best in patient care."

Other key components of the new contract agreements include an additional 4 percent base-wage increase effective April 1 and modifications to the requirements of the new Professional Nurse Development Program. The modifications address eligibility requirements for registered nurses with 20 or more years of service at the hospitals.

"We wish to thank our CRONA-represented nurses and CRONA leadership for their part in reaching this agreement," Dale Spartz, vice president of human resources for Stanford Hospital and Clinics.

The new contracts replace the provisions that the hospitals implemented after both sides reached impasse on Feb. 7. The agreements expire March 31, 2013.

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Like this comment
Posted by yax
a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Apr 9, 2011 at 3:51 am

mo money! mo money! mo problems!

Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 9, 2011 at 4:14 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

I suspect this could have been achieved without the clamor of last, best offer. At any rate, good show.

Like this comment
Posted by Not-Impressed
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 9, 2011 at 8:06 am

Yawn .. who cares?

Dragging the public into their private affairs (meaning the CRONA people) was typical of people who have no respect for the public. CRONA sees Palo Altans as simply tools to be used to advance their political agenda, when it's convenient. It's really difficult to see how all of this nonsense maps into "better nursing".

In the long run, all they have done is increased the cost of a hospital stay, and provided nothing of benefit in return.

Like this comment
Posted by alice
a resident of another community
on Apr 11, 2011 at 5:59 pm

I am a nurse at another hospital in the area that has not been able to reach a fair contract and have had one imposed on us. This lack of respect from the Administrators of a hospital for the rank and file leads to horrible morale.

I am glad that they found a way to break the impasse.

Like this comment
Posted by enough!
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 13, 2011 at 1:11 am

The Stanford nurses have very good working areas, and support. If they don't like it, go to another hospital that you seem to believe is better! and work there!
Your pay is excellent, and have various helpers other than nurses on the units to support you as well.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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