Cedars-Sinai Medical Center workers to strike

Hundreds of workers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles plan to strike May 9, according to the union that represents them.  

The Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West cited concerns about what it described as unfair labor practices as well as employee and patient safety concerns, short-staffing and low wages. 

Union leaders also pointed to the "D" letter grade assigned to the hospital in the Leapfrog Group's fall 2021 Hospital Safety Grades.

"We are very frustrated that despite us risking our lives to deliver world-class healthcare for our patients, management at Cedars-Sinai has not bargained in good faith and continues to commit unfair labor practices. Management doesn't seem to take patient or worker safety seriously," Luz Oglesby, a clinical partner at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, said in an April 29 news release. "In our latest round of bargaining, Cedars-Sinai rejected our proposals on PPE stockpiles, COVID exposure notifications, keeping pregnant and immunocompromised workers away from COVID patients, and other safety measures."

Earlier in April, Cedars-Sinai workers authorized a strike, which allowed the union to issue an official strike notice.

That official notice of the union's intent to engage in a strike was received, the hospital said in a statement shared with Becker's.

"We respect the rights of SEIU-UHW members to take this step," the statement said. "The most effective way to reach a fair agreement, however, is for both parties to stay at the bargaining table and finish negotiations."

Regarding issues addressed in negotiations, Cedars-Sinai said it "strive[s] to maintain the highest standards of quality and service in the care we provide," and that the hospital has always recognized employees "by providing market-leading pay and benefits."   

On March 21, Cedars-Sinai said it presented the union with an economic proposal that would have provided pay increases to workers as early as March 27. 

SEIU-UHW represents more than 2,000 workers, or 13 percent of the hospital's workforce, including certified nursing assistants, transporters, environmental services, plant operations, surgical technicians and food service technicians. 

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