YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Los Robles Hospital Raises Nurses' Pay

August 26, 2000|MARGARET TALEV

Los Robles Regional Medical Center has averted a strike by agreeing to give its 450 registered nurses significant raises as part of a labor pact that the unionized employees have overwhelmingly approved.

Salaries will increase by at least 14.5% during the next three years for the hospital's registered nurses, under a union contract ratified earlier this week.

Longtime nurses, whose salaries had been lagging according to the union, will get an additional 8% pay increase. Pay for being on-call will increase slightly, to $5 an hour, under the terms of the new contract. And nurses seeking continuing education will receive greater tuition reimbursement rates from the hospital.

Hospital spokeswoman Kris Carraway-Bowman declined to say how much extra the total package would cost the hospital annually, but said the cost would not be transferred to patients.

Carraway-Bowman said hospital administrators were "very pleased" to have averted a strike, which began to look like a possibility after recent picketing. While hospital administrators had prepared by contacting a temporary agency that specializes in fill-in nursing care, Carraway-Bowman said the hospital wanted to avoid a strike.

Lesley Whitehouse, president of the hospital's nurses union, said the contract should "retain our most skilled, experienced nurses and attract the new nurses we need to deliver quality care at the bedside."

Los Robles in recent years has lured nurses away from other hospitals in the county with its higher salaries. Earlier this year nurses at St. John's Regional Medical Center in Oxnard and St. John's Pleasant Valley Hospital in Camarillo voted to unionize but have yet to negotiate an initial contract.

Still, Whitehouse said at Los Robles salaries for registered nurses, which range from $20 to $30 an hour, lag behind salaries in the San Fernando Valley.

Los Angeles Times Articles