LOS ANGELES — The University of California has reached a tentative labor agreement with unionized nurses at its medical and student-health facilities, averting a possible one-day walkout by the nurses that was scheduled for Wednesday.
The university said Saturday the preliminary deal calls for annual 4 percent pay increases through 2017 and UC paying the majority of health insurance premium costs for the more than 11,700 nurses who belong to the California Nurses Association. UC will contribute 8 percent of pay in pension benefits starting in 2014, and 9 percent of pay starting in July 2014.
“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,” Dwaine Duckett, UC vice president for system-wide human resources, said in a statement.
The four-year agreement still needs to be voted on by the nurses.
Joe Lindsay, direction of the CNA’s University of California division, said he expected the members to approve the contract.
As part of the deal, the nurses will rescind their plan to join a one-day strike Wednesday in sympathy with a walkout scheduled by nearly 13,000 unionized patient-care workers, custodians and food workers at the university’s five medical centers and 10 campuses.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299 said it had been in contract negotiations with UC for more than 18 months, but remain at odds over staffing issues.
When talks broke down in the spring, the union held a two-day strike at medical facilities in San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, San Francisco and Sacramento. Nurses did not strike and emergency rooms were open, but the walkout in May prompted the postponement of non-essential surgeries.