In membership meetings held across Northern and Central California beginning Tuesday, registered nurses and nurse practitioners at 86 Kaiser Permanente hospitals and clinics began voting on a new three-year collective bargaining agreement. As the largest nursing contract in the United States, this agreement is expected to elevate nursing standards and workplace conditions across the nation, nursing officials said.

Nurse negotiators for the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United, which represents 18,000 RNs and nurse practitioners in those Kaiser facilities, are recommending approval of the new pact that also provides for significant economic gains and additional retirement security.

Nurses began voting on the agreement Tuesday in San Jose, meetings at all 21 Kaiser hospitals in the region continue through today (Jan. 23). A strike that had been called for Wednesday and Thursday of this week has been canceled.

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