The University of California and the California Nurses Association ratified a new labor contract for nurses working in UC medical and student health facilities this month, including a 16% wage increase over the course of three years.
The contract takes effect immediately and runs through Oct. 31, 2025, according to a press release from the UC. Over 17,000 nurses are employed under the UC, and their prior contract was set to expire this fall.
The 16% wage increase in the new contract is split into three different increases: a 6% wage increase effective January 2023, a 5% wage increase effective January 2024 and an additional 5% wage increase effective January 2025.
Along with the wage increase, the contract gives one-time payments of $3,000 for career nurses, $2,000 each for per diem nurses who worked 50 percent-time or more and $1,000 to per diem nurses who worked less than 50-percent time during the past year. The contract also increases paid leave for family care and bonding from 70% to 100% for eight weeks.
“We believe this agreement recognizes the dedication, professionalism and quality of our nursing staff, and the extraordinary challenges they have faced for more than two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Letitia Silas, UC’s executive director of systemwide labor relations, in the UC press release.
The UC hopes to “forge more collegial labor-management relations,” according to the press release, and views the new contract formed with the California Nurses Association (CNA) as a model for future negotiations with unions.
“UC nurses are proud to ratify our new contract with the University,” said Dahlia Tayag, an RN and bargaining team member who works at UC San Diego, in a joint statement from the CNA and National Nurses United. “This agreement recognizes and rewards registered nurses for our service and commitment to our patients and communities across the UC system, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.”