Marin General engineers, imaging technicians set to strike Feb. 1

Kelly Gooch - Print  | 

Imaging technicians and engineers at Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae, Calif., plan to strike over employee health plan coverage, according to hospital and union officials.

Members of the National Union of Healthcare Workers and Local 39 will walk off the job beginning at 6 a.m. PST Feb. 1.

The hospital and union said about 65 imaging technicians will strike only on Feb. 1 and return to work Feb. 2. About 20 Local 39 engineers plan to strike until a labor deal can be reached. The engineers' contract expires Jan. 31. The imaging technicians' contract expired in October.

The engineers and imaging technicians are striking to protect their health coverage, according to union officials.

The union claims the hospital "is trying to push [workers] into a far less comprehensive health plan."  

"To keep their current plan, which allows them to choose their doctors, full-time employees would have to pay $120 per month to insure themselves or $359 per month to insure their families," they said. "Otherwise, employees would have to opt for a new HMO plan that would force many of them to find new doctors willing to take the insurance plan and doesn’t include access to any nearby hospitals operated by Kaiser Permanente or Sutter Health. Their current plan allows them to use Sutter Health hospitals."

Hospital spokesperson Jamie Maites described the hospital's health benefits as "generous," "highly competitive" and "the very best." She said the proposed HMO program will be free for eligible employees and their family members, offering access to: UCSF Health, Marin General Hospital, Sonoma Valley Hospital, Santa Rosa Memorial and John Muir Health. She said Marin General is also offering a PPO option for employees who want to “buy up.” 

 

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