Strike set at 6 KPC Health hospitals

Members of Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West are set to begin a five-day strike Sept. 26 at six KPC Health hospitals, according to a union news release shared with Becker's.

KPC Health owns and operates a group of integrated healthcare delivery systems in Southern California. Union members plan to strike at:       

  • Victor Valley Global Medical Center (Victorville)       
  • Anaheim Global Medical Center       
  • Chapman Global Medical Center (Orange)       
  • South Coast Global Medical Center (Santa Ana)       
  • Hemet Global Medical Center       
  • Menifee Valley Medical Center

SEIU-UHW represents more than 1,400 KPC Health employees, whose contract expired July 13, according to the union. The union said its members are concerned about what they describe as unfair labor practices, understaffing and low wages.

"We have respiratory therapists who sometimes have to care for up to 40 patients, 17 of which are on ventilators," Mychelle Ramey, a respiratory therapist at South Coast Global Medical Center, said in the union release. "Our patients and community deserve better. We are exhausted and overwhelmed, and we feel like management is ignoring our concerns. KPC needs to invest more into the caregivers who have kept this community alive and ensure that the hospital has proper staffing that is safe for employees and patients."

While the union is prepared to strike, one could still be averted if both sides reach an agreement.

A spokesperson for KPC Health told Becker's Sept. 22 that the company will hold on commenting while negotiations continue and provide comments if a strike takes place. 

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