Nurses at Alameda Hospital in California are now able to join the United Steelworkers of America's (USWA) $1.3bn defined benefit (DB) pension fund, a move that could lead to the rest of the state's nurses joining the steelworker's fund.
Following contract negotiations between Alameda hospital and the California Nurses Association (CNA), nurses at the hospital can now join the USWA's Steelworkers Pension Trust. The CNA had demanded that the hospital adopt the USWA DB scheme for its nurses, as it doubles the amount of retirement benefits nurses currently receive. The CNA also won pay increases and other workplace improvements.
Nurses across the state could soon be part of the steelworkers fund, as the USWA and the CNA have entered into an agreement allowing nurses represented by the CNA to join the Steelworkers Pension Trust. The CNA has demanded that other hospitals in the state switch their pension plans for nurses over to the steelworkers' fund, and is trying to achieve that aim with strikes in Sacramento, San Francisco, Santa Cruz and other Californian hospitals.
Formed in 1953, the Steelworkers Pension Trust was originally the pension fund of the Upholsterers' International Union (UIU). When the UIU merged with the USWA in 1985, the fund was renamed and the USWA became the plan sponsor.
Currently, the Steelworkers Pension Trust has approximately 46,000 participants and 463 participating employers. The fund is based Pennsylvania, and is staffed by 30 full time employees.
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