Striking Dignity hospital workers agree to 4-year deal

Members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 829, who began an open-ended strike July 18 at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, Calif., have approved a new labor deal.

The union represents about 300 technical and service employees at Sequoia Hospital, which is part of San Francisco-based Dignity Health.

In a statement shared with Becker's, Dignity Health said Sequoia Hospital and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 829 resumed negotiations on July 28 and reached a tentative agreement on a four-year contract. Union members approved the agreement on July 29.

"We look forward to welcoming our AFSCME-represented employees back to work," Dignity Health said.

Union members approved the new contract nearly two weeks after the strike began.

The deal includes a 16 percent raise over the life of the contract, effective immediately, with an additional signing bonus and higher staffing levels for certified nursing assistants, according to The Redwood City Pulse.

A union representative said the contract also removes the hospital's authority to at any time unilaterally raise healthcare benefits costs, according to the newspaper.

The union began its strike July 18, saying its members sought fair pay and benefits as well as for the hospital to invest more in workers to keep staff and ensure high-quality patient care. Dignity Health had warned striking workers they could risk losing their benefits as of August if they had not returned to work.

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