'Enough is enough': Strike on for 500 St. Joseph and Redwood Memorial hospital employees

About 500 employees at Redwood Memorial Hospital in Fortuna, Calif., and St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka, Calif., will walk off the job Nov. 20, according to the Times-Standard.

The strike will affect members of the National Union of Healthcare Workers, whose contract expired in April. Affected workers include lab technicians, surgery technicians, janitorial staff, nursing assistants and clerical workers.

"The hospital has not been bargaining in good faith and (has) really sunken in its position to take away basic things like paid time off and has only offered 1.5 percent salary increases," union representative Renee Saucedo told the newspaper. "The hospital, at this point, claims that they have some new proposals, but their lawyers are refusing to meet with us until mid-December. We feel enough is enough."

The strike is scheduled to begin at 6 a.m. Nov. 20 and end 24 hours later.

St. Joseph Health called the strike plans "unfortunate."

A statement from spokesperson Christian Hill to the Times-Standard says: "We respect our caregivers' rights to engage in this action and other lawful activities. However, we are disappointed that the union started negotiations with a request for a 20 percent salary increase over a three-year period."

The strike decision "is unfortunate given we had informed their representatives over a month ago that we were prepared to enhance our economics proposal, which includes significant wage increases and a generous package of benefits, including the same paid time off, retirement and benefit options that NUHW-represented caregivers in southern California have accepted in their contracts." the statement added.

"All hospital services and most outpatient services will remain open" during the strike, though certain outpatient imaging services will not, Mr. Hill said.


More articles on human resources:
Kaiser workers postpone strike after news of CEO's death
University of California service and patient care technical workers begin strike
Kaiser Permanente mental health clinicians prepare for 5-day walkout 

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