By Jim Steinberg, San Bernardino Sun
Posted: 01/11/15, 5:23 PM PST |

COLTON >> Contract negotiations between county officials and its nursing union have resumed, officials said.

There was a meeting last week and one is planned for this week, said Chuck Idelson, spokesman for the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United.

Hundreds of county nurses did not show up for work on Dec. 9 and Dec. 10 as nurses demanded higher wages and protested working conditions.

“It’s good that we are meeting,” Idelson said late last week.

But the issues are complex and just because there are meetings doesn’t mean that progress is being made, he said.

“We certainly want a fair agreement.” he said.

Felisa Cardona, spokeswoman for San Bernardino County, said the talks have produced “modest progress. We are are pleased at the tone and are cautiously optimistic.”

The CNA/NNU represents 1,250 RNs employed by San Bernardino County. Of that some 900 work at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, the county hospital, and some 330 work in county jails, juvenile hall, community clinics and in various county health initiatives.

During the strike, nurses contended their wages, which they said were below other area hospitals, is creating a high turnover rate, which results in too many inexperienced nurses.

One nurse on the picket line during the first day of the strike said, “new grads are training new grads” on some shifts.

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