Stanford, Lucile Packard Nurses OK 3-year contracts, return to work

Nurses at Stanford and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospitals in Palo Alto, California, have ratified three-year contracts and will be signed on March 3.

On May 1, 83 percent of the nearly 5,000 members of the Nursing Recognition Committee voted to approve the agreements, which will cover nurses at both hospitals, according to a union press release shared with Beckers.

“Following extensive discussions, we were able to finalize an agreement that reflects our shared priorities and enhances existing services that support the health, well-being and continued professional development of our nurses,” said hospital director called. “We look forward to welcoming our unionized nurses back on May 3rd. We appreciate the incredible effort our entire healthcare workforce put in last week.”

Nurses at Stanford and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospitals began their strike on April 25, nearly a month after the nurses’ contracts expired on March 31.

The new contracts include a combined base pay increase of 7 percent in 2022 (a 5 percent increase followed by a 2 percent increase); 5 percent in 2023; and 5 percent in 2024, the union said in its press release.

Nurses in certain areas, including emergency rooms, intensive care units and critical care transport teams, will receive additional incentive payments, the union said.

Aside from pay, the contracts require a staffing model that “accounts for patient acuity and commits hospitals to changes that ensure nurses with critically ill patients are able to safely take meal and rest breaks,” according to the union.

Union chair Colleen Borges, a pediatric oncology nurse at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, called the contracts “a tremendous victory for nurses at Stanford and Packard who have fought tirelessly for improved working conditions and patient care conditions.”

Dale Beatty, DNP, RN, chief nurse executive and vice president of patient care services at Stanford Health Care, and Jesus Cepero, PhD, RN, senior vice president of patient care and chief nursing officer at Stanford Children’s Health, confirmed that an agreement had been reached was a challenge but said they were glad one was achieved.

Now “we can all be proud of this agreement. And we’re proud of our team that maintains continuity of care for our patients,” they said.

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