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Court issues injunction barring nurses union strike

By Amy Agronis on July 22, 2005 in University

In response to a request filed by the California Public Employment Relations Board, the state's labor board responsible for overseeing public sector collective bargaining, a Sacramento Superior Court on Wednesday issued an injunction against the California Nurses Association, prohibiting the union and its members from striking.

About 9,000 nurses are involved systemwide.

On July 8, the CNA announced that nurses would strike on July 21. It would have been the first nurses strike to take place at the UC Davis Medical Center.

UC regarded the strike as illegal, because negotiations were not completed when the strike was announced. On Monday, UC met with the Public Employment Relations Board to request an injunction to halt the strike. That injunction was granted about noontime on Wednesday. In deciding to bring the matter to court, PERB issued a formal complaint against the union alleging that CNA was bargaining in bad faith.

Copies of the injunction and PERB's complaint are available at: http://atyourservice.ucop.edu/employees/policies/labor_relations/index.html.

Prior to the injunction, the medical center had been actively planning, taking steps so the hospital could adequately care for its patients during the strike.

Planning measures included: reducing the hospitalized patient population; shutting down some intensive care units; redirecting all but the most critically injured patients to unaffected hospitals; turning down patient transfer requests; and postponing some surgeries and procedures.

Areas of disagreement between UC and the union have included salary increases and nurse-to-patient staffing ratios.

Unlike many hospitals, the medical center's nursing staff is composed of all registered nurses, and vacancy and turnover rates among the staff are among the best in the nation. Vacancy: 3.4 percent, compared with 16.2 nationally; and turnover: 8.9 percent, compared with 16.8 percent.

For more information about UC's negotiations with the CNA, go to: http://atyourservice.ucop.edu/employees/policies/labor_relations/index.html

Media contact(s)

Amy Agronis, Dateline, (530) 752-1932, abagronis@ucdavis.edu

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