Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital in Hollister, Ca. Photo by John Chadwell
Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital in Hollister, Ca. Photo by John Chadwell

Information provided by the California Nurses Association

The California Nurses Association announced registered nurses at Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital ratified a new four-year contract on July 27 with 99% support.

The release said the new collective bargaining agreement includes victories for patients and nurses and was unanimously approved by Hazel Hawkins’ board of directors July 28 board meeting.

“Winning a strong contract means improvements for nursing staff that helps ensure nurses who work here and live here can stay in Hollister,” said Sonia Duran, RN, and a member of the bargaining team. “As the only acute care facility in San Benito County, investing in retention and recruitment of nursing staff is crucial to continue to provide quality healthcare for our community.”

The release said the highlights of the contract include:

  • Creation of an Infectious Disease Task Force, with RN representation, which will meet to discuss mitigation plans in the event of an infectious disease outbreak, epidemic, or pandemic that impacts the facility.
  • Creation of a Workplace Violence Prevention Committee with two RN representatives with the purpose of addressing workplace violence concerns and updating current policies in accordance with SB1299, California’s Workplace Violence Prevention Act.
  • Juneteenth, a federal holiday marking the emancipation of enslaved African Americans and Martin Luther King Day, which honors the civil rights leader and movement, are recognized as federal holidays
  • Expansion of protected categories and inclusion of language to protect any RN who reports or witnesses acts of discrimination.
  • A12.5% across-the-board wage increases, beginning with 3.5% in the first year of the new agreement. Other economic highlights include gains in shift differentials, standby pay, charge nurse pay, creation of Staff Nurse IV position.

“As we dive into year three of the pandemic, nurses have been advocating for better protections and protocols to keep us and our patients safe,” said Courtney Parrinello, RN. “I am excited about our new contract, which will create avenues for us to continue to help mitigate infectious disease outbreaks in our facility and push for safe patient care. None of this would have happened without RNs taking collective action as a union.”