Strike Avoided, St. Francis Registered Nurses Ratify Contract

September 2011

Seven hundred Registered Nurses at St. Francis Medical Center (SFMC) ratified their contract last night, after a three day strike that was to start Monday was averted. Less than 72 hours after hospital management received the strike notification, SFMC agreed to all major issues that had been holding up settlement of the contract.

"This contract is groundbreaking because it advances the professional standards of nursing. It addresses the critical shortage of support staff at SFMC and its impact on RNs’ ability to provide the highest quality of care. Moreover, the new contract provides additional RN staff for the notoriously understaffed emergency rooms. SFMC has finally begun to address the urgent problems in the Emergency Room that are of great concern to the nurses and the community," remarked Ken Deitz, RN, President of UNAC/UHCP.

After more than four months of negotiations, safe staffing levels to improve patient care and the protection of the nurses’ pension plan were codified in the new contract, which expires June 30, 2014.

“I want to thank all the nurses for standing up for their patients by fighting for a strong contract that recognizes the importance of safe staffing,” said Sandi Marques, RN, BSN, MBA, President of the St. Francis Registered Nurses Association, UNAC/UHCP.

St. Francis management and the United Nurses Associations of California (UNAC/UHCP) resumed negotiations Saturday to reach a Tentative Agreement. RNs at the hospital voted on August 30 to approve a three day strike at the hospital, which was to take place September 12-14.