Both nurse and caregiver unions at Palomar Health recently voted to approve four-year deals with management after seven months of working without a contract.
Under the agreements, ratified Dec. 19-21, 3,000 employees received a retroactive pay raise, effective January 2017, according to the California Nurses Association. The contracts expire 2021.
“The pay increases for both unions was 10 percent across the board for all workers. With yearly experience steps that should be around a 16 percent wage increase during the life of the agreement,” Desi Murray, labor representative at the association, wrote in an email.
In addition to pay, the contracts include stipulations such as dedicated patient and lift transport teams in all facilities to reduce injuries, according to the association.
The agreements came as nurses and caregivers threatened to strike. In August, the nurses union told the San Diego Business Journal it remained far apart in negotiations with Palomar Health management over pay and working conditions.
A Dec. 18 association news release reported that tentative deals were struck, pending union votes. Prior to the ratifications, Palomar Health released a statement to the Business Journal.
“We are pleased the negotiating process is over and we can put our full attention to providing superior patient care while maintaining our fiduciary responsibility to the residents of our health care district,” said Diane Hansen, Palomar Health interim president and CEO. “In the end we came together to reach an agreement that reflects the compassionate service our employees provide this community each and every day.”
Palomar serves Escondido, Poway and additional inland communities.