After strike, Cedars-Sinai workers approve 3-year contract

Members of the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West have ratified an agreement with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

The union, which announced the agreement in a May 27 news release, represents more than 2,000 workers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, or 13 percent of the hospital's workforce. Members include certified nursing assistants, transporters, environmental services, plant operations, surgical technicians and food service technicians.

The new agreement "was possible because we as a union stood together to advocate for the safety and well-being of healthcare workers and our patients," Jose Sanchez, a lead transporter at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, said in the union news release. "Reaching an agreement was not easy. But we fought hard for better working conditions, wages and benefits that reflect the difficult yet vital work we do every day to provide the best care for our patients."

Highlights of the ratified three-year contract include access to proper personal protective equipment and testing for employees, and notification of exposures, as well as average raises of 17.46 percent at the end of three years, the union said.

The contract, which is not retroactive, also boosts the minimum wage to $21 per hour by 2024 and includes protected healthcare and other benefits.

The union began a strike May 9 after authorizing one in April. The strike ended May 13 with no agreement in place.

In a statement shared with Becker's, Cedars-Sinai President and CEO Thomas Priselac said he's pleasedabout the agreement and that union members have ratified the deal.

"Cedars-Sinai is proud of our long-standing history and tradition of quality care — and we know this tradition is carried on the shoulders of our employees," Mr. Priselac said. "As one of the largest employers in Los Angeles, we remain dedicated to providing competitive compensation and benefits that truly reflect the professionalism, skill and commitment of all those who work at our organization."

He also thanked community members for their support and hospital staff members for their compassion for each other, dedication to patients and daily commitment to the organization's mission.

 

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