California Nursing Union Avoids Strike

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Bradley
 
Reply Thu 27 Jan, 2005 01:17 pm
California Nursing Union Avoids Strike
Quote:
104 Alameda Hospital Caregivers Settle Industry Standard Contract

Meanwhile, Sutter Health Caregivers Forced to Strike Over Bad Faith Bargaining for Same Industry Standards

ALAMEDA, Calif., Jan. 21 / -- The following release is being
issued by Health Care Workers Union SEIU 250:
Yesterday 104 caregivers ratified a new contract with Alameda Hospital
that includes important industry standards designed to improve patient care.

Those standards, which have been accepted by every major hospital system across Northern California except Sutter, include a voice in staffing for frontline caregivers and a training fund and a retiree health insurance plan.

Workers covered under the agreement include licensed vocational nurses,
certified nurse assistants, unit secretaries, dietary workers and environmental services employees. All are members of United Health Care Workers -- West. Alameda Hospital is publicly run by a local health district board.

The Alameda Hospital settlement adds strength to the campaign of 4,000 caregivers who have been negotiating with Sutter Health for more than 7 months now. Alameda Hospital joins about 60 private facilities that have agreed to new healthcare standards, including Washington Hospital, Doctors Medical Center of San Pablo and Pinole, Kaiser, Catholic Healthcare West and Daughters of Charity. Instead of bargaining in good faith, Sutter, on the other hand, has been committing unfair labor practices to try to intimidate caregivers and undermine negotiations. Caregivers have filed more than 50 charges against Sutter with the federal government to try to stop illegal tactics and participated in a one-day strike at 13 Sutter facilities last month.

"Now we have public hospitals like Alameda Hospital, Doctors Medical
Center and Washington Hospital in Fremont joining dozens of private hospitals in accepting industry standards designed to protect patients," said Sal Rosselli, president of SEIU United Healthcare Workers -- West. "If public hospitals can do it, then Sutter, which made profits of $465 million in 2003, can too. What's wrong with Sutter?"

Under the settlement, Alameda Hospital will give an equal voice to
caregivers in setting appropriate staffing levels and contribute to an
education fund for their employees. Workers will be able to access the fund in order to learn new technologies, update their skills and move into hard to fill positions. In addition, employees will receive significant wage
increases and benefit improvements, which will help recruit and retain
qualified staff. Employee will also receive retiree health benefits for the
first time, in addition to improvements to the Hospital's existing defined
benefit pension plan.

United Healthcare Workers has also offered its commitment, as it has with DMC and Washington, to aid the public hospital in its goals to attract
patients, increase revenue and improve reimbursement.

"I've worked at Alameda Hospital for the past 36 years, and I hope to
retire in the next four," said dietary aide Annie Daniels. "The new retiree
health benefits are a gain for both our younger and older workers. With an
affordable retiree health plan, our younger employees will have a greater
incentive to continue their career at Alameda Hospital because they know they will be rewarded for their years of service. I believe affordable retiree health insurance will help us maintain a stable, experienced workforce and lead to even better patient care."


SOURCE SEIU United Healthcare Workers -- West
Web Site: http://www.seiu250.org
 
 

 
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