Bargaining Update - CNA Negotiations


11.04.2017

Palomar Health met with the California Nurses Association (CNA) on November 3 for further contract discussions.  Highlights included the following:

Article 38 – Health & Safety
Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our employees and patients.  Palomar Health and CNA continued to discuss this important topic and proposed additional language. The expanded contract language reflects our mutual commitment to protect your health and safety in the workplace. We are close to reaching a tentative agreement on this section of the contract.

Article 25 – Floating
CNA stated in a recent bargaining update that we proposed “changing the definition of floating so that it no longer conforms to the definition in the Nurse-to-Patient Staffing Ratio Law.”  That is not accurate. We did not make any such proposal.  On November 3, we reiterated that we are not proposing any changes to current floating assignments. We revised certain language in our proposal that may have been unclear. Hopefully this clarification will bring the parties one step closer to a tentative agreement.

Status of Negotiations
Palomar Health and CNA have now been negotiating since March 2017 (approximately 8 months).  Our neighboring healthcare district recently reached a deal with CNA, but it took them about a year and a half.  Now is the time for Palomar Health and CNA to finalize a new contract—not six months or a year from now.  We want our hard-working Registered Nurses to receive raises and other improvements right away.  Let us come together and reach a fair deal that supports our mutual goal of providing the best possible care for our patients.  We look forward to our next meeting with CNA on November 9.

Summary of Palomar Health’s Proposals
Palomar Health has offered improvements in numerous areas of the contract, including:
  • Compensation:  Employees’ average pay would increase by more than 4.25% by January 1, with additional guaranteed increases two times per year:
 
  • The first day of the pay period after this contract is ratified – a pay increase of 1.0%.
  • The first day of the pay period after this contract is ratified – each employee shall receive his/her pay step increase.  (The average step percent increase exceeds 2%).
  • The first day of the pay period in January 2018 – an additional pay increase of 1.25%.
  • The first day of the pay period in July 2018, and in July of any subsequent years this contract is in effect – an additional pay increase of 1.0%.
  • The first day of the pay period in July 2018, and in July of any subsequent years this contract is in effect – each employee shall receive his/her pay step increase. 
  • The first day of the pay period in January 2019, and any subsequent years this contract is in effect – an additional pay increase of 1.0%. 
  • Float Pool Registered Nurses would be compensated the same as Clin RN II Registered Nurses, plus $10.00 per hour.  
  • Float Pool Registered Nurses (Per Diem) would be compensated the same as Per Diem II Registered Nurses, plus $10.00 per hour.
 
  • Equity Increases:  Additional pay increases above and beyond what the parties agree to in the contract, to ensure our salaries remain competitive.
 
  • Critical Staffing Incentive Program: This voluntary program would provide Registered Nurses and Caregivers with opportunities to earn valuable bonus awards for helping fill critical shifts.  Employees who work shifts designated as “critical need” shifts would earn 25% more per hour, on average.
 
  • Standby Pay:  Increasing from $7.00 to $8.00 per hour.
 
  • Retirement Benefits: Continued employer contributions of 6.0% to the 401(a) plan, 6.50% contributions for employees with 15+ years of service, and continued matching contributions to the 457(b) deferred comp plan. These are financially generous, extremely competitive retirement contributions.
 
  • Retiree Benefits:  No changes to retiree benefits, while employers are reducing or eliminating these contributions. 
 
  • Free Parking:  A continued commitment to provide our employees with free parking options.
 
  • Tuition Reimbursement:  25% higher tuition reimbursement rates.
 
  • Tools, Resources and Equipment:  The parties reached a tentative agreement to address these important issues.
 
  • Health & Safety:   Addition of Health & Safety and workplace violence protection language.
 
  • Safe Patient Handling:  Improved language regarding safe patient handling, lifts and transfers.
 
  • Successorship:  Improvements to successorship protection language requiring 60 days’ notice in writing.  Previous contract required 30 days’ notice.


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