UCSF hospital workers end 1-year labor dispute

Workers at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland (Calif.) have approved new three-year contracts with management.

On June 21 and 22, more than 1,300 workers at the hospital voted to ratify the agreements, ending a yearlong dispute and averting a potential three-day strike, according to a news release from their union, the National Union of Healthcare Workers.

Union members at the hospital are part of three separate bargaining units representing service and technical workers, office and clerical workers, and professional workers. Contracts were approved for all three units. 

"This is a good deal that honors our commitment to the families we serve and will help keep caregivers and services in the East Bay," Stephanie Lum Ho, an office associate at the hospital's Walnut Creek outpatient center, said in the union release. "It was a long, hard negotiation, but we knew what we needed to safeguard care in our community, and we accomplished that with these contracts."

According to the NUHW, the new contracts include:

  • Provisions that require advanced notice of any merger or transfer of hospital ownership, as well as employment safeguards for workers in the event of either situation
  • A new process for professionals such as social workers and speech therapists to earn more money and advance in their careers
  • Across-the-board raises of 13 percent for all workers over the life of the contract
  • Additional raises for more than 30 worker classifications
  • The addition of Juneteenth as a paid holiday

The hospital shared the following statement with Becker's: "UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland has served our community for more than 100 years and continues to provide world-class care for children and their families, regardless of their ability to pay. That commitment extends far beyond any one contract, and we are pleased that our employees ratified this agreement, which honors their excellent work while preserving our ability to provide care in Oakland for years to come."

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