Santa Clara County and the union representing nurses at the county’s hospitals and clinics have reached an agreement on a four-year contract, after months of negotiations, failed mediation efforts and a first-ever three-day strike last month.

About 88% of the Registered Nurses Professional Association members voted to ratify the tentative agreement, which now will go before the county’s Board of Supervisors on June 4 for final approval.

The agreement was announced May 24.

In a joint statement, the nurses and the county said the agreement “reflects the shared commitment to the dedicated nurses who work in the county’s health system, which continues providing world-class care amidst the increasing demands of being the safety-net hospital system for all residents.”

More than 3,750 nurses are represented by the nurses union. The last contract expired last October. In negotiations, nurses said they called out issues such as short staffing and below-standard nurse-to-patient ratios.

Details of the agreement were not released.

Each side in the labor dispute released a prepared statement.

Registered Nurses Professional Association President Susie York called the agreement “a big step forward for Santa Clara County nurses and the patients we serve.”
Without providing details, York said the new contract includes improvements in pay and working conditions, and in nurses’ work schedules and nurse-to-patient ratios.

“We set the groundwork for better workplace safety practices,” York said in a statement.

County Executive James R. Williams said the agreement “represents our dedication to providing fair contracts for every staff member in our organization, including our nursing professionals…[and] upholds the county’s commitment to our hardworking nurses and to deliver excellent care to the community while balancing fiscal realities.”

In the past fiscal year, under the contract that expired in October, the county said its nurses have received approximately 42% in compounded salary increases, including a 13.3% wage increase.

The average annual pay for a full-time union-represented member is $259,103 in wages, including average overtime and differential pays. The average total compensation including wages and benefits is $326,542, according to the county.

Nurses represented by the RNPA held a three-day strike at the county’s hospitals in early April. About 3,750 nurses participated in the strike, which included hundreds of staff nurses picketing at Saint Louise Regional Hospital in Gilroy. 

The county’s healthcare system, known as Santa Clara Valley Healthcare, includes SLRH, O’Connor Hospital, Valley Medical Center and associated clinics and doctors’ offices throughout the county. 

Previous articleFest hits 40
Next articleReligion: Let’s do better for the homeless 
A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


  1. This article is based on misinformation. If we have received a so called 42% compounded raise, the county hasn’t applied it to my check. The $259,103 average pay of full time staff is also a lie. Yes a nurse who has been at the county for 20 years or more can make this much., but I will include some overtime. Nurses who work in a dept which they get paid for being on call and receive overtime if they are called in, yes they can make this much. For the county to say we the nurses on average make this much is a lie. For the majority of nurses to make this much entails a lot of overtime and missed breaks. Which because we are lowest paid nurses in this area, new nurses don’t stay over a year or two, because they leave for other hospitals in this area that pay the nurses more. For example nurses at RMC make $15 more per hour than I make at the county.

    • Please sign me up for the newsletter - No


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here