Unit 17 Bargaining Update for Friday, July 19, 2019
Nurses bring real-life stories of their work to the state in support of better pay and working conditions.


Unit 17 RNs met with state negotiators to drive home the value of their work and the daily challenges they face in providing quality care to our most vulnerable patients.

Members from Unit 17 provided compelling stories of unreasonable workloads caused by recruitment and retention challenges resulting from below-market pay in a competitive landscape. Telling their stories, our nurses shared their passion for their profession and gave their patients a voice.

“Our personal stories provoked an emotional response from the state,” said Kim Cowart, Unit 17 bargaining chair. “Many facilities are losing talented care providers because the state isn’t paying a competitive wage, and it’s the patients who suffer as a result.”

Our bargaining team presented the following proposals:

  • Thirteen different Special Salary Adjustments (SSAs) that recognize unique skillsets not usually found in public sector nurses, in an effort to improve recruitment and retention.
  • Increase differential pay for Unit 17 employees who report to work at Los Angeles County health facilities.
  • Increase the shift lead differential pay and require that 75% of the shift lead positions are assigned to RNs. Create a new differential pay for trainers.
  • Increase the educational differential and make the differential available to all of Unit 17 employees rather than a few selected ranges.
  • Ensure that all vacant and available jobs are posted at DDS and DSH and available for Unit 17 employees to bid on.

In addition, our bargaining team “rolled over” more than 60 different articles from previous contract campaigns that preserve and protect hard-earned Unit 17 rights.

Unit 17 returns to the bargaining table on July 26 and will continue to address unit-specific issues raised by our members at Town Halls and through bargaining surveys.