University of California officials today (Nov. 16) announced they have reached a tentative agreement with the California Nurses Association regarding a four-year labor contract for the more than 11,700 nurses who work in UC medical and student health facilities.

"We are pleased to have reached an agreement with CNA that maintains competitive market wages and benefits for our hard-working nurses and recognizes the excellent patient care they provide every day at our medical centers and student health centers," said Dwaine Duckett, UC vice president for systemwide human resources. "We also appreciate CNA’s commitment to and partnership in working through the issues at the bargaining table."

Highlights of the agreement, which is subject to CNA members' approval, include:

  • Wages: 4 percent across-the-board salary increases each January for the next four years, plus additional step increases each July through 2017.
  • Medical benefits: Nurses will enjoy continued access to excellent health insurance with UC continuing to pay the vast majority of health insurance premium costs.
  • Pension benefits: Continued excellent pension benefits. Nurses will participate in a slightly modified version of UC's new 2013 pension tier, contributing 8 percent of pay starting in January 2014 and 9 percent of pay starting in July 2014 toward the UC Retirement Plan. Nurses also will continue to be eligible for retiree health benefits. Agreements regarding pension and retiree health benefits are subject to approval by the UC Board of Regents.
  • No strikes: The agreement includes a "no strikes" provision that prohibits nurses from striking during the life of the contract. CNA had announced previously its intention to strike on Nov. 20 "in sympathy" with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union (AFSCME). With this agreement, CNA has agreed to rescind its sympathy strike notice.

The terms of the new agreement will be in effect through July 31, 2017. Negotiations with CNA began March 26, 2013.