San Francisco, CA — On June 25, San Francisco Registered Nurses (RNs) of SEIU Local 1021 ended their campaign when 97 percent voted ‘yes’ to a two-year contract with no wage or healthcare concessions. The RN-approved contract includes a 3-percent raise and protects RN staffing language, necessary to quality patient care.
Finally, with the participation of the Presiding Conciliator of the California State Mediation and Conciliation Service, negotiations began to move forward. On June 6, the RN bargaining team announced that a Tentative Agreement (TA) with the City had been reached.
In recent years, public health administrators in Northern California have marched toward major takeaways, furloughs and wage cuts. Employers across the country have tried to blame a broken economy on workers, especially those represented by unions.
It is within this climate that Local 1021 RNs in San Francisco beat back concessions, fought against unfair attacks to nurse-to-patient staffing ratios, winning better wages and maintaining benefits including affordable healthcare.
“We have a contract because of membership unity in the worksites, including a 98 percent strike authorization vote, and public solidarity actions,” said Lorraine Thiebaud, RN, San Francisco General Hospital RN Chapter President.
Local 1021 RNs, along with other city workers, participated in large, highly published protests, got arrested in front of Bank of America and took over City Hall. Nurses and other city workers called on City Hall leaders to stop balancing recent budget gaps on the backs of workers and instead get much needed revenue from profitable downtown businesses who haven’t been paying their fair share of taxes in over ten years.
“Nurses take care of the city and we’ll continue to speak up for patients at the local, state and national level to improve public health care in the new era of the Affordable Care Act upheld by the US Supreme Court,” said Thiebaud.
The Affordable Care Act will expand health care to 32 million Americans.