Updated September 7, 2021 - 5:35 pm
Nurses at MountainView Hospital in Las Vegas approved a new three-year contract Tuesday with HCA Healthcare that, along with other provisions, will add more health and safety protections.
The collective bargaining contract with the Nashville, Tennessee-based healthcare company covers 960 registered nurses and includes new protections such as free COVID-19 tests after potential exposure and access to personal protective equipment, according to the National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United (NNOC/NNU).
MountainView RN Nicole Taylor, a member of the nurses’ negotiating team, said these protections were essential to maintaining a safe environment for staff.
“We are pleased to have achieved additional health and safety protections that we have been pressing for from HCA management,” Taylor said in a news release.
The contract comes about a month after the hospital’s registered nurses held an informational picket last month to publicly share safe staffing problems and improvements needed to maintain and recruit new nurses.
HCA Healthcare was not immediately available for comment.
MountainView spokeswoman Jennifer McDonnell said it “reached a fair agreement with NNOC that supports a culture of colleague safety, care excellence and compassion.”
“We are pleased that MountainView Hospital and this labor union came to an agreement,” she said in an emailed statement.
Under the new contract, nurses will have access to the same level of protection such as single-use PPE when encountering patients suspected of being infected with COVID-19, not just when a case has been confirmed. Nurses also will have access to free coronavirus testing after exposure.
Wage increases were also negotiated into the new contract. Nurses will receive wage increases of up to 19 percent over the term of the three-year contract. It also includes pay increases for nurses who work weekends or when critical additional staffing is needed.
Other provisions include creation of committees to address and promote diversity, equity and inclusion on race, gender, age and sexual orientation; improved reporting of harassment and discrimination; improvements in how the hospital provides compensation when nurses pick up extra shifts; and paid time off to vote in elections.