St. Francis Nurses Ratify Historic Contract 

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St. Francis Nurses Ratify Historic Contract 

United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals (UNAC/UHCP) negotiate improvements to address ongoing hospital staffing and patient care issues

LOS ANGELES—Members of UNAC/UHCP’s St. Francis Registered Nurses affiliate have ratified a new contract with the 384-bed Prime Healthcare hospital in the heart of Lynwood, CA.

The 600 nurses at St. Francis voted to ratify the contract with 81% in favor. The new agreement expires on December 11, 2026. The vote comes after intense negotiations, which included the first-ever strike in the affiliate’s decades-long history. Nurses successfully fought for wages that would attract and retain a workforce that had been devastated by turnover rates exceeding 65 percent.

“The improved compensation will assist in recruitment and retention, but the fight for improvement to safe staffing and safe work environments continues,” said Sandra Marques, a registered nurse and chief negotiator of the St. Francis Registered Nurses Association (SFRNA) affiliate. “We hope that the hospital is committed to collaborating with UNAC/UHCP-SFRNA to address and resolve those issues. The St. Francis nurses will continue to fight for our patients and our community, who are deserving of quality care.”

“We did not back down,” Charmaine Morales, a registered nurse and president of UNAC/UHCP, which represents healthcare employees throughout California and Hawaii. “We said enough is enough and we meant it. For the sake of patients and the community, we need safe staffing at St. Francis Medical Center.”

Nurses and Prime reached the tentative deal on December 6, 2023. The historic contract includes:

  • a 9 percent across-the-board wage increase from the current base rate of pay and placement on the wage grid, which guarantees that no one will have their pay rate decreased or be on a pay freeze
  • 3 percent pay increases for years 2024 and 2025
  • a minimum 12-week, competency-based orientation for new graduates hired onto the nursing staff and hospital-provided certifications in specialty areas
  • expanded protections and pathways for nurses to have stronger input on professional nursing issues, including position development, workload, new technologies, and new processes


United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals (UNAC/UHCP) represents more than 35,000 registered nurses and health care professionals in California and Hawaii, including optometrists; pharmacists; physical, occupational and speech therapists; case managers; nurse midwives; social workers; clinical lab scientists; physician assistants and nurse practitioners; hospital support and technical staff. UNAC/UHCP is affiliated with the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO.