Tri-City Medical Center. Photo courtesy Tri-City Medical Center.

Registered nurses at Tri-City Medical Center announced Wednesday that they ratified a 3 1/2-year agreement with the hospital in Oceanside, following more than one year of negotiations.

The California Nurses Association said more than 700 RNs at the facility will receive pay raises based on seniority, while the hospital will make changes in staffing, scheduling, health and safety protocols, and protections for senior RNs and new graduates.

The protections cover issues like workplace violence, patient handling, and mandates for education, training and safe staffing. The union refused to specify pay raise amounts.

A hospital spokesman couldn’t be reached for comment.

The union demonstrated outside the hospital a couple of times this year to complain that roughly 300 experienced nurses had gone to work somewhere else over the past two years.

“This contract is a victory for the entire community, as well as the RNs,” said Alyce Budde, a nurse for 27 years at Tri-City.

“The agreement will address the historic recruitment and retention issues that have caused several hundred RNs to leave over that last few years,” Budde said. “Retaining our experienced nurses will be a great service to our community as it translates into quality patient care.”

— City News Service

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