Parkview Registered Nurses Ratify First UNAC/UHCP Union Contract

April 2009

13 months of prolonged negotiations ends in a clear vote by nurses
to ratify their first union contract, which will restore 5% pay cut by management and
guarantee nurses a voice in the workplace

Riverside, CA – On Friday, April 17, Parkview Community Hospital Registered Nurses (RN) voted to ratify their first union contract with the United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals (UNAC/UHCP) after 13 months of prolonged negotiations with hospital management. Parkview RNs ratified the contract by an overwhelming majority. Upon approval by the hospital’s Board of Directors, the new 2-year contract will restore Parkview management’s unilateral 5% pay cut of RN wages and guarantee nurses a voice in the workplace.

“Parkview RNs have worked long and hard toward achieving our first contract and gaining a voice in the workplace,” stated Penny Brown, an RN in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. “We are glad that we will finally have the opportunity to work alongside hospital management to make Parkview a premiere provider of quality patient care for the Riverside community.”

The new contract will restore a 5% wage cut taken out of nurses’ salaries by management in October of 2008. UNAC/UHCP filed Unfair Labor Practice charges against Parkview for applying the cut without making a good faith effort to bargain with the nurses’ representatives, and the National Labor Relations Board found merit in the charges and issued a formal complaint against the hospital. During a trial that began on Monday, April 13, UNAC/UHCP and Parkview management came to a mutual agreement to finalize the contract in lieu of continuing the trial.

“Parkview RNs are happy that hospital management finally understands the value of respecting the voice of nurses in the workplace,” said Kathy Sackman, UNAC/UHCP president. “We all look forward to an effective partnership with Parkview management moving forward and to promoting the most efficient provision of high quality patient care possible at Parkview.”

One vital component of the new Parkview RN union contract is the creation of a Registered Nurse Advisory Committee (RNAC) that will meet on a monthly basis to discuss various issues impacting nurses in the workplace and their ability to provide patient care. The RNAC committee will serve to promote advancements in patient care and satisfaction throughout the hospital.

The federal judge presiding over the unfair labor practices case against Parkview will resume the trial should the hospital’s Board of Directors fail to approve the contract that the nurses ratified on Friday.

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