While California Pacific Medical Center Stalls, Children's Hospital & Research Center At Oakland Agrees To Contract Respecting Caregivers

Published: Oct 31, 2005

OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- SEIU United Healthcare Workers- West today announced a tentative agreement with Children's Hospital and Research Center in Oakland. CHRCO caregivers achieved their contract without a strike or strike notice, and will be voting on the tentative agreement next Tuesday and Wednesday. In San Francisco, 800 caregivers at Sutter/ California Pacific Medical Center were forced to strike on September 13 for Federal Mediator's contract recommendation featuring contract proposals that have now been surpassed by CHRCO.

Highlights of the accord include: -- An organizing rights agreement that a) establishes a code of conduct so workers can make their own choice without coercion whether to unionize, and b) a fast and fair election procedure in which all agree to respect the outcome of an expeditious secret ballot election. -- Improvement in the defined benefit pension. -- Education and training trust fund: CHRCO to provide education, upgrade and career path opportunities for workers and for the growth of the hospital. -- A first time Retiree Health Benefit. -- Improved upon the fully employer paid health plans for employers and their families. -- Maintained the previously negotiated binding arbitration for safe staffing issues. -- Maintained the previously strong job security language. -- Improved rights for union stewards. -- Among the best wages and pay differentials in northern California.

Every major hospital system in Northern California, except Sutter/ CPMC and the John Muir/Mount Diablo System have agreed to the standards featured in CHRCO's tentative agreement. On September 30, Kaiser Permanente settled an industry standard contract with caregivers after a relatively short period of good faith bargaining. Catholic Healthcare West and Daughters of Charity have also adopted contracts without strike or strike notice (though CHW deferred the issue of retiree health benefits for future negotiations early next year). The 800 caregivers at California Pacific Medical Center, however, were forced to strike for the same contract standards after over a year of bargaining.

"Every other hospital system understands that safe staffing improves

patient care. An employee education fund improves patient care. The right for caregivers to join a union without intimidation from management improves

patient care," said Sal Rosselli, president of SEIU United Healthcare Workers- West. "Sutter/ CPMC refuses to put patients first. Instead they have traumatized San Francisco by forcing a strike that the hospital could have easily avoided."

SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West, with more than 140,000 members, is the largest and most powerful healthcare union in the Western United States. We represent every type of healthcare worker, including nursing, professional, technical and service classifications.

Our mission is to achieve quality healthcare for all. Contact: Thea Lavin c.510-520-7732

SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West

CONTACT: Thea Lavin, cell, +1-510-520-7732, for SEIU United HealthcareWorkers-West

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