FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 8, 2016
Contact: Jeff Rogers, Communications Specialist
Jeff.Rogers@unacuhcp.org | 909-263-7230
Sharp Nurses Vote to Ratify a New Three-Year Contract
SAN DIEGO—The registered nurses of Sharp Professional Nurses Network (SPNN) announced today they have ratified a new three-year contract with Sharp HealthCare which includes significant wage increases and other improvements to address the union’s concern over nurse recruitment and retention.
The contract comes after five months of difficult, often contentious negotiations, which saw a rally on October 6 at the San Diego Convention Center attended by hundreds of nurses and supporters, in response to which Sharp canceled their annual Sharp Experience employee event. On November 10, the nurses announced their vote to authorize a strike over unfair labor practice charges against the employer and the nurse turnover crisis at Sharp. The nurses delivered their federally-required ten-day notice to strike on November 17, with the strike scheduled to begin on November 28, the Monday after Thanksgiving. On the eve of the strike, November 27, it was averted by last-minute negotiations which extended into the following week and led to a tentative agreement announced on Friday, December 2.
“This is the best contract we’ve ever had,” said Christina Magnusen, RN in the Sharp Grossmont Surgical Intensive Care Unit and President of SPNN. “We’ve lost increasing numbers of nurses in recent years to better-paying hospitals in San Diego. This contract takes some big steps toward closing the gap, so by helping us keep well-trained, experienced nurses at the bedside and encouraging newer nurses to stay and make their careers here, it will help improve patient care. There’s still more to be done to tackle nurse recruitment and retention, but Sharp nurses can be proud of how we stood up together for our patients and community.”
“The public trusts nurses, because they know this isn’t just a job for us, it’s a calling,” said Denise Duncan, RN and President of UNAC/UHCP. “That’s why Sharp nurses were willing to give up a week’s pay to tackle the nurse turnover crisis at Sharp, and I think most of San Diego understood that, despite management’s efforts to distract from the real issues. We’re happy that we’ve won a contract that will help fix the problem.”
The Sharp Professional Nurses Network (SPNN) is an affiliate of the United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals (UNAC/UHCP) which represents over 26,000 registered nurses and other health care professionals, including optometrists; pharmacists; physical, occupational and speech therapists; case managers; nurse midwives; social workers; clinical lab scientists; physician assistants and nurse practitioners. UNAC/UHCP is affiliated with the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO.