Alameda Hospital inks contract with nurses
Management at Alameda Hospital has inked a three-year deal with the hospital’s 160 nurses. The contract, which was ratified by local members of the California Nurses Association on June 22 and approved by the Alameda Health Care District Board Wednesday, freezes wages and increases the out-of-pocket health care maximums nurses and their families will pay in exchange for better preventive care.
The contract also creates a joint labor-management recruitment and retention committee to investigate those issues if they arise and adds language to the contract that says that in the event of a sale or transfer of the hospital, its new owner will recognize the union as the bargaining representative for the hospital’s nurses.
A year in the making, the agreement is retroactive to July 1, 2009 and is set to expire on June 30, 2012.
“This agreement reflects the commitment of our nurses to our patients, our community, and Alameda Hospital,” the hospital’s chief executive officer, Deborah Stebbins, was quoted as saying in a hospital-issued news release. “I want to thank our nurses for their understanding of the complicated issues we face and their willingness to work together to build a successful future for Alameda Hospital.”
A spokesperson for the California Nurses Association could not be reached for comment Monday.
The hospital board okayed a four-year agreement with represented members of its radiology department in June 7 that freezes wages until December 31 but offers some additional health care benefits. One of the issues confronting hospital management and union negotiators was the expiration in March of the hospital’s contract to provide surgical space for Kaiser Permanente.
The hospital’s gross patient revenue in April, its first month without the Kaiser contract, was $6,243,000 or 23.9 percent less than budgeted, and expenses were $241,000 more than revenues for that month, compared to a budgeted profit of $86,000.
The hospital fielded 192 surgery cases in April, but budgeted for 505, roughly the number it handled in March, the final month of the Kaiser contract. The number of non-Kaiser surgeries increased slightly, but not enough to fill the gap.
Hospital management is working to develop new programs and recruit physicians and is seeking opportunities to collaborate with organizations and businesses, they said. A budget for 2011 is expected to be finalized by the end of July.