SAN FRANCISCO — Representatives of 2,200 striking registered nurses reached a tentative agreement with six private hospitals Friday for pay raises of 21%, the California Nurses Assn. said.
The tentative pact was reached after the hospitals' negotiating board accepted a proposal from the CNA, said Larry Arnold, spokesman for Affiliated Hospitals, which is handling negotiations for the medical centers.
The nurses will return to work by Wednesday if the contract is approved, said Eileen Maloney, a spokeswoman for Mayor Art Agnos. The nurses went on strike Aug. 2.
If approved, the pact would end a citywide labor conflict that at one point involved 4,000 nurses and hospital employees at eight medical facilities. The labor dispute involved two unions and three strikes.
Nurses at the private hospitals last week turned down an offer of a 20% increase over three years by a 2-1 margin. The nurses were seeking 21% over two years.
Under the tentative agreement, nurses would receive an 8% pay raise the first year of the contract, compared to the 7.5% first-year raise in the previous offer, said nurses' spokeswoman Karen Bardoni.
"The 8% the first year is very important in bringing Affiliated up to the standards of other area hospitals," Bardoni said.
The tentative agreement also carries improved language on staffing levels and higher weekend differential pay.
A ratification vote was set for Sunday.
Union officials endorsed the proposal and predicted approval, Bardoni said. They also had recommended approval of the earlier offer.
About 1,700 members of Local 250 of the Hospital and Health Care Workers Union began returning to work this week after reaching agreement with seven hospitals on a two-year pact that will restore fringe and short-term sick leave benefits. Under the pact, some workers will get raises of up to 6% over the life of the pact and others will get bonuses of up to $300 at the end of two years. The union had gone on strike July 26.