Nearly 10,500 California nurses at 27 different facilities, and an additional 1,200 nurses in Nevada, recently struck an agreement with San Francisco-based Dignity Health. Negotiations on the contract were reportedly aimed at balancing the needs of employees with the challenges the health care system faces in the current economy.
The collective bargaining agreement specifies that RNs are to receive a 9 percent increase in pay over four years, with a pay freeze in the first year. Other aspects of the new contract include: a provision that nurses will all move to the same pension formula; an increased maximum retiree health reimbursement benefits; and supplemental insurance of up to $200,000 for workplace injuries.
Injuries in the health care field are actually much more common than many people realize. In fact, a recent report by Public Citizen noted that an average of 653,000 nurses, aides, orderlies and other health care workers are harmed or become ill every year. All things considered, health care is the most dangerous industry out there for injuries and illnesses.
One of the biggest challenges for health care workers is back injuries. Here again, health care is in the lead, with more musculoskeletal injuries being suffered by medical workers every year than in any other industry.
To top it off, health care as an industry is heavily under-inspected by OSHA for safety violations, much more so than the construction industry, for instance.
Medical field workers who find themselves in a position where they are unable to receive adequate compensation for a workplace injury do well to consult an experienced attorney. Doing so can help clarify one's options and give one the resources to seek out the compensation they need.
Source: Sacramento Bee, "Nurses vote to ratify four-year contract with Dignity Health," Mark Glover, September 11, 2013.