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Union, St. Rose Dominican Hospitals forge tentative agreement

The Service Employees International Union forged a tentative agreement this morning on a new contract for 1,800 workers inside three St. Rose Dominican Hospitals.

The deal calls for wage increases of 38.2 percent over four years, including up to 20 percent in the first year, as well as a $3,400 decrease in health-insurance premiums.

The 100-member SEIU bargaining team had been negotiating with St. Rose managers since February.

The agreement comes amid a campaign by a competing union to take over representation of St. Rose’s nurses.

The California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee began efforts to organize nurses at St. Rose in late 2007. After an inconclusive election in May, the CNA asked the National Labor Relations Board to schedule a second election. The election hasn’t yet been set.

Fernando Losada, collective bargaining director of the National Nurses Organizing Committee, said the SEIU deal isn’t a "bad contract," but his group could negotiate a contract with more perks and protections for nurses.

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