Dear Colleague,

The university began negotiations last week with the California Nurses Association for a new contract for you and your nurse colleagues. We want to share with you what our priorities are as contract negotiations continue.

UC medical centers are renowned for their excellence, due in large measure to the world-class patient care you and your colleagues provide. Our goal for these contract negotiations is to work collegially with CNA to reach a comprehensive, multi-year agreement that recognizes and fairly compensates your dedication and skills with market-competitive pay, good benefits and safe working conditions. In our current rapidly changing health care environment, UC needs to balance multiple important budget priorities. We aim for contracts that ensure good pay and benefits for our employees while preserving the long-term financial health of UC.

During the first bargaining session May 16-18, the university and union met to begin talks and start exchanging proposals on non-economic issues.

As negotiations move forward, here is what we’ll continue to focus on offering our nurses: 

  • Fair and market-competitive pay: We work hard to ensure we fairly compensate our staff. We conduct routine market studies and also provide regular pay increases to ensure our salaries remain competitive. The average salary for a full-time UC nurse is about $138,000 a year. Current salaries range from about $81,000 to $266,000 a year, with 46 percent of UC nurses earning above the average salary.
  • Quality health care for you and your family: UC offers six excellent and affordable health plans to choose from for you and your dependents. Most employers offer fewer.
  • A secure retirement: All current nurses would see no change in their retirement benefits. UC offers a traditional pension that features a guaranteed payment to help you plan for a secure retirement. For future employees hired after a new contract is ratified, UC will be proposing to add a plan that allows future employees a choice between the traditional pension plan or a 401(k)-style plan, whichever fits their needs and preferences. Few employers offer this choice, or a traditional pension.  
  • Multi-year agreement that offers long-term stability: We will aim for a long-term contract to provide you with the predictability and stability you deserve.

We’ll keep you informed with regular updates as negotiations progress. 

Again, thank you for all you do to provide outstanding care to our patients and their families, and to support UC’s public service mission.


Dwaine B. Duckett

Vice President of Human Resources