9 Recent Strikes, Contract Agreements and Unionizations at Hospitals

The following issues involving hospitals and unions were reported within the past month, beginning with the most recent.

1. Dignity Health Employees May Strike for 3 Days
Employees at two hospitals within San Francisco-based Dignity Health, formerly Catholic Healthcare West, notified administration they may hold a three-day strike beginning June 26. The employees, who are represented by Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers, would strike from Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, Calif., and French Hospital in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

2. Service Workers at Tenet's Saint Louis University, Des Peres Hospital Unionize
Service workers and technicians at Tenet-owned Saint Louis University Hospital and Des Peres Hospital, both in St. Louis, voted to unionize and will be represented by the Service Employees International Union.

3. Hundreds of Philadelphia Hospital Workers to Strike July 1
Hundreds of unionized hospital workers in Philadelphia voted to strike July 1 if a contract agreement is not reached by that time. The workers' contracts with hospitals — including Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Hahnemann University Hospital, Temple University Health Systems, and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and more — are set to expire June 30.

4. 4,500 Sutter Health Nurses Vote to Strike
About 4,500 unionized nurses from Sutter Health facilities in California planned a one-day strike June 13 to protest contracts that have been in negotiation for roughly a year. The nurses, who are members of the California Nurses Association, previously held a strike May 1.

5. UMass Memorial Reaches Contract Agreement With Union
Officials from University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center in Worcester reached an agreement with the local United Food and Commercial Workers Union following union protests in April. The new contract provides 60-cent-per-hour raises each year for the next three years, along with $350,000 over the next three years for equity adjustments. The union represents roughly 1,300 UMass employees.

7. Nurses at Loretto Hospital in Chicago Vote to Unionize
Registered nurses at Loretto Hospital in Chicago voted to unionize under the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, in early June.

8. UIC Medical Center Workers Kick Off 3-Day Strike
Approximately 50 support staff members from University of Illinois Medical Center marched outside the Chicago hospital May 30, marking the beginning of a three-day strike over union contract negotiations. The picketers represented a portion of the 500 workers on strike, all of whom are represented by the Service Employees International Union. The workers claim the hospital has not agreed on a contract since unionizing in 2010.

9. Nurses Protest Job Cuts at Boston Medical Center
Unionized nurses at Boston Medical Center protested a new round of layoffs at the teaching hospital, this time involving the elimination of 40 positions. A spokesperson for the Massachusetts Nurses Association, which represents unionized nurses at BMC's South End hospital, said BMC officials have refused to consider the union's proposals to ease the impact of job cuts.

More Articles on Hospitals and Unions:

5 Considerations for Hospitals Facing Union Organization
Labor Unions are Dead…or at Least on Life Support
5 Issues Affecting Hospital Employment


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