Tenet Healthcare has reportedly reached a new four-year labor agreement with the union that represents 2,700 registered nurses at six Tenet hospitals in California. The California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) has scheduled ratification votes on the tentative deal for March 9 and March 12, according to an announcement from the union.

The nurses have been working for more than a year under the terms of a contract that expired December 21, 2010. A union spokesman described the negotiation process that led to the new agreement as “arduous.”

If the agreement is ratified, nurses would receive increases of 3% retroactive for some portion of 2011. The effective date of the retroactive increase will vary depending on when each affected hospital first came under contract with CNA/NNU. Nurses in all six hospitals would then receive 3.5% increases on July 1, 2012, and on July 1 in the next two years. The new agreement would expire on December 31, 2014.

According to the union, other provisions of the agreement include:

  • Continuation of current health care coverage with no employee contributions for premiums and no increases in co-pays or deductibles;
  • Compliance with the patient-handling and lifting standards established by California in the Hospital Patient and Health Care Worker Injury Protection Act, which became law last year; and
  • Changes in clinical education for nurses.

The six Tenet hospitals that would be covered by the contract are: Desert Regional Medical Center (Palm Springs); Doctors Medical Center (Modesto); Los Alamitos Medical Center, San Ramon Regional Medical Center, Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center (San Luis Obispo); and Twin Cities Community Hospital (Templeton).