Sharp nurses and management reach tentative agreement - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Sharp nurses and management reach tentative agreement

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Registered nurses of Sharp HealthCare have reached a tentative agreement on a three-year contract, their union announced Friday night.

The tentative agreement is a new three-year contract, after months of negotiations which saw a November 28 strike by the Sharp nurses narrowly averted by last minute negotiations.

The Sharp Professional Nurses Network (SPNN), the union representing almost 5,000 Sharp nurses at the bargaining table, plans to hold a series of meetings next week, from Monday, December 5 through Thursday, December 8, where the nurses will hear the details of the agreement and have a chance to discuss and vote on it.

The Sharp nurse bargaining team is recommending the members vote yes to ratify the contract.

"In recent years, we have watched more and more nurses leave Sharp for better-paying hospitals across the county," said Christina Magnusen, RN, President of SPNN in a statement late Friday night.

She further added:

"We have struggled to get management to understand that they need to pay competitive wages to keep our well-trained, experienced nurses at the bedside, and recruit nurses who will want to make a career here at Sharp. Some called us greedy, though we're the ones who've stayed. We love our jobs, we love our patients, and that's why we stay and fight to make Sharp better."

"As nurses, we are patient advocates. When all nurses are united, we can raise a stronger voice to advocate for our patients," said Denise Duncan, RN, President of UNAC/UHCP, of which SPNN is an affiliate on Friday night in a statement.

"The unity of Sharp nurses won this agreement. Hundreds attended the negotiating sessions for months, and rallied at the convention center in October. Thousands of nurses were prepared to give up a week's pay to win a contract that will recruit and retain the best nurses, who can give the San Diego community the best possible patient care," said Duncan. 

On Monday, the planned three-day strike of more than 3,000 Sharp Healthcare nurses that was initially scheduled to begin was been called off.

Members of the Sharp Professional Nurses Network/United Nurses Associations of California and their employer reached a tentative agreement Sunday on some matters pertaining to union membership.

Current non-represented employees will continue to have the option of whether to pay union dues. New hires will be required to be dues-paying union members within 30 days of their employment, although after 90 days they will have a five-day window in which to decide if they wish to continue membership, according to Sharp.

Sharp did not agree to a so-called closed shop in which union membership is required for new or continued employment.

Sharp nurses withdrew their strike notice Sunday. Included in the tentative agreements was a provision that the union would not call another strike prior to Jan. 1, according to Sharp.

Sharp is on track to lose 700 nurses this year, up from 605 last year and 514 in 2014.

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