Henry Mayo and nurses reach final agreement

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. Dan Watson/The Signal

The tentative agreement between Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital and its registered nurses was approved by the nurses after voting ended on Friday.

“We are very pleased this agreement was ratified,” said Patrick Moody, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital spokesman. “We value our nurses very much. This agreement reflects that.”

The preliminary deal was reached after an emergency meeting was held Tuesday night. A strike was set for April 25 and approved by the hospital’s nurses and the California Nurses Association union after multiple negotiations with the hospital’s leadership team, according to union representatives on April 17, but they said the strike was no longer necessary after the agreement was reached.

The new three-year collective bargaining agreement will cover 650 nurses, and is intended not only to improve experienced RNs’ recruitment and retention rate but also strengthen the nurses’ ability to protect their patients, according to the union’s statement issued Saturday.

“The new agreement states clearly that the staffing of hospital patients care units must be based on census, acuity, and staffing ratios and in a manner to ensure nurses are relieved for their meal and rest periods,” said Nerissa Black, a telemetry RN, in the statement.

The agreement’s highlights, included in the statement, are:

  • “Staffing language around legally mandated meal and rest breaks for RNs”;
  • better access between RNs and union representatives in the facility;
  • new nurses will receive improved protection against any unjust disciplinary action;   
  • standards set to protect RNs against violence in the workplace;
  • and a 9% to 20% increase in pay over the term of the three-year contract.

The agreement will also establish a committee of RNs and hospital management who will work together to ensure nurses receive their breaks.

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