Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital workers to strike

Members of Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West are set to begin a five-day strike Dec. 12 at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey (Calif.) Hospital.

The union represents about 400 nursing assistants, surgical technicians, pharmacists, dietitians, lab assistants, environmental services/housekeeping, registration assistants and other front-line staff at the hospital, according to a Dec. 8 SEIU news release. Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey, a nonprofit community hospital, is part of Los Angeles-based Cedars-Sinai, a nonprofit academic healthcare organization.

Union members have been negotiating with hospital management since August. A Cedars-Sinai spokesperson told Becker's that during negotiations, the hospital has offered "strong market-based pay and benefits that recognize and reward the exceptional talent, skill and dedication of our represented employees. These include maintenance and service personnel as well as technical staff and clinical support professionals."

The union contends that at the bargaining table, Cedars-Sinai has not bargained in good faith with workers over staffing, patient and worker safety concerns and pay. "We're struggling to keep up, and people are leaving because they just can't afford to work here. But the ones really paying the price are our patients and their families," Eric Melo, an emergency room technician at the hospital, said in the union release.

"Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital stands ready, available and willing to continue positive and collaborative talks so that we may reach an agreement for which we all can be proud," Cedars-Sinai said in a statement. "Our goals remain clear and firm: We are dedicated to the safety and well-being of our patients and the community."

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