Some workers organize while others go on strike: Recent hospital-union actions

The following hospital-union events have been reported by Becker's in March and April.

1. Members of the California Nurses Association approved a new contract with Southern California Hospital at Culver City. The contract, approved April 6, includes across-the-board wage increases of up to 30 percent over three years.

2. Nurses at Ascension Seton Medical Center in Austin, Texas, held an informational picket April 6 to protest current staffing levels amid contract negotiations. The hospital's nurses voted to unionize in September and have been in contract negotiations since November. 

3. Social workers and interpreters employed by Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif., voted to join Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West. Seventy-nine percent of the workers voting supported unionization, according to an April 4 union news release. The vote covers about 140 social workers and workers in interpreter services at the hospital.

4. Members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 approved a three-year contract with Bay Area Hospital in Coos Bay, Ore. Hospital spokesperson Kimberly Winker told Becker's the agreement includes increasing the wage rates for all union employees by 7.5 percent; a commitment by the hospital to increase wages for those positions that remain below market after this increase; and adjusting the minimum wage rate to $15 per hour, effective July 1, 2022. 

5. Members of the Physicians' and Dentists' Organization of Contra Costa reached a new contract with county management, avoiding a potential strike. The union represents more than 240 physicians in Contra Costa County's public health system.

6. Members of the California Nurses Association reached an agreement with MarinHealth Medical Center in Greenbrae, Calif., averting a planned strike. The union represents about 600 nurses at the hospital, which is part of MarinHealth.

7. Members of UE Local 1004 held a strike March 20 at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia, Calif. The union represents about 700 workers at the hospital, including patient care attendants, techs and other support staff, according to The Santa Clarita Valley Signal. Henry Mayo has more than 1,800 employees total.

8. Members of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East reached a tentative agreement with Boston-based Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital. The three-year agreement, reached March 10, covers nearly 500 workers. 

9. Registered nurses at Adventist Health Lodi (Calif.) Memorial voted to join the California Nurses Association, an affiliate of National Nurses United. The National Labor Relations Board must still certify the results. If certified, the results apply to more than 340 nurses at the hospital. 

10. Registered nurses at Ascension Via Christi St. Joseph Hospital in Wichita, Kan., voted to join the National Nurses Organizing Committee, an affiliate of National Nurses United. Sixty-two percent of voting nurses decided in favor of unionizing, according to a March 9 news release from NNOC/NNU. The secret ballot election took place on March 8. 

11. Members of the Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals approved a contract with Burlington-based University of Vermont Medical Center that includes immediate pay raises of 6.5 percent to 25.6 percent for most bargaining unit members. The three-year contract, which runs from March 1, 2023, to April 30, 2026, covers about 600 technical employees.

12. On March 4, nurses at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C., approved a new contract that includes a commitment from the hospital to hire 1,350 registered nurses by 2025. The three-year agreement took effect March 12.

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