Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare workers brace for strike

Salinas (Calif.) Valley Memorial Healthcare System and union workers are preparing for a strike that is set to begin Tuesday, The Californian reports.

Negotiations between SVMH and the National Union of Healthcare Workers, which represents roughly 700 employees at SVMH, ranging from housekeeping and food service workers to radiology technicians, have been ongoing since July 2015. Workers said last week they would strike for 24 hours starting at 6 a.m. Tuesday if no negotiations were made in the near future.

As of 5 p.m. Monday, neither side had shown any indications of relenting their positions to avert a strike, according to the report.

However, the report notes, not all unionized workers are expected to walk off the job.

SVMH spokeswoman Karina Rusk told The Californian the hospital has 263 contract workers trained and ready to fill in beginning Tuesday for union workers who choose to strike. Since the hospital has paid for a three-day minimum use of the contract workers, workers who strike for one day will be replaced for two more days, or "locked out" as described by the union, according to the report.

SVMH and the union remain at odds over cost-of-living salary increases, increases in healthcare premium costs and language over the hospital's authority to hire subcontractors.


More articles on workforce and labor management:

Stanford Health Care, Lucile Packard nurses ratify union contract: 4 things to know
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Hospitals will have to publicize workplace injury, illness data: 7 things to know

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