California hospital workers hold 1-day strike

Members of the National Union of Healthcare Workers are holding a one-day strike April 16 at MarinHealth Medical Center in Greenbrae, Calif.

The union represents more than 100 MarinHealth medical technicians, including MRI technologists, pharmacy technicians, ultrasound technologists and cardiac sonographers, according to an NUHW news release shared with Becker's.

Union members, who have been without a new labor contract since October, contend that the 327-bed public district hospital is insisting that they accept a contract with lower wage increases and higher medical costs than it has provided to other hospital workers.

"We're on the front lines, taking care of this community. To treat us like this is just a slap in the face," Cierra Thlang, an X-ray technologist, said in the union release. "Our hospital has been successful because patients know they'll get good care from experienced caregivers, and management is putting that at risk. We're losing too many good healthcare workers, and we're struggling to replace them."

David Klein, MD, CEO of MarinHealth, expressed surprise about the strike.

"NUHW has chosen to give a strike notice despite the hospital's continued effort to bargain in good faith," Dr. Klein said in a statement shared with Becker's. "Nevertheless, we will continue active negotiations with the NUHW on the remaining few issues, primarily pertaining to compensation, to see if we can reach an agreement that is satisfactory to both parties."

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