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Antelope Valley Hospital Nurses OK Pact

The Lancaster workers' first union contract calls for pay raises of 18% to 38% over three years.

August 12, 2003|From a Times Staff Writer

After struggling for months to unionize, registered nurses at Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster have approved their first collective-bargaining agreement, which includes pay raises of 18% to 38% over three years, the California Nurses Assn. said.

Under the agreement, approved by the union and the hospital board last week, 535 nurses would earn up to $46.41 per hour, association officials said. Alan Hanson, a union organizer, said the contract would entice nurses living in the Antelope Valley to work closer to home.

In spring 2002, the elected board that controls the 350-bed community hospital opposed nurses' attempts to unionize. The opposition eroded after November, when two union-backed candidates won seats on the five-member board. The California Nurses Assn. won the right to represent the nurses in March.

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