Uploaded: Tuesday, July 25, 2000 2:40 PM

Proposed nurse pact calls for 10 percent pay raises

The settlement package Stanford nurses will vote on Thursday includes a 10 percent pay raise over two years, and 12 percent for nurses with 15 or more years seniority.

Stanford and Lucile Packard Children's hospital administrators have said they will accept the settlement package, which was proposed last week by a federal mediator and also includes some staffing concessions.

The union, however, is remaining neutral on the settlement package, neither recommending it to its members nor rejecting it.

"Some people are very disappointed," said Kim Griffin of the Committee for Recognition of Nursing Achievement (CRONA). "Some people just kind of shrugged."

Griffin, like other CRONA nurses, has taken a temporary nursing job until the strike's over. She said she'll do what the union membership wants.

"If the majority of people are fine with it, then I'm fine with it," Griffin said. "If they're not, then I'm very willing to go back to the bargaining table."

The nurses' strike is entering its seventh week, with the hospitals functioning using about 500 replacement nurses.

The proposal would be a compromise for both sides. The hospitals had last offered 8 percent in pay raises over two years, while the nurses had asked for 15 percent over two years.

In another key contract issue, the hospitals have agreed to replace nurses who are too tired to work overtime shifts, Griffin said.

Another key staffing issue was nurse-to-patient ratios. Griffin said the hospitals have agreed to send any dispute to a professional arbitrator if the union and a hospital disagree over the staffing ratios on a particular nursing unit.

"That's actually pretty big," Griffin said. "Most hospitals don't want to relinquish control over staffing."

CRONA nurses will vote between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Thursday.

"It's really kind of a mixed bag," Griffin said of the settlement package, "so I don't know what to expect."

--Don Kazak