Health care workers to strike

Health care workers plan to gather outside Seton Medical Center in Daly City Thursday morning for a 24-hour strike in protest
of unsuccessful contract negotiations with hospital management, organizers said.

Members of the Service Employees International Union United Health Care Workers-West will strike at five Daughters of Charity Health System hospitals in the state, union spokesman Mason Stockstill said. Health care workers and supporters will gather at all five hospitals at 6 a.m. and strike for 24 hours, returning to work Friday, according to Stockstill.

The strike is in response to stalemated contract negotiations that have been in the works since March, Stockstill said.

“Hospital management is making several proposals that would take away workers' rights to improve patient care at these hospitals,” Stockstill said. “A key part of our contract with these hospitals has been making sure caregivers are able to participate in staffing and other decisions to improve care. That is what management is trying to take away during our contract
bargaining.”

Pay is not currently an issue, he added.

Workers have already picketed outside the Seton Medical Center in Daly City, according to Stockstill, and will return in numbers to Daly City as well as to Seton Coastside in Moss Beach, O'Connor Hospital in San Jose, and hospitals in Los Angeles and Gilroy.

Seton Medical Center will remain open and staffed during the strike, vice president of human resources Linde Cheema said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.

“We are disappointed with (the union's) decision to call a one-day strike against our hospital and our patients, but we are well prepared for the limited work stoppage and any impact on our operations is expected to be minimal,” Cheema said.

Cheema added that other unions will not participate in the strike or honor the picket line, and the hospital hopes to return to the bargaining table to resolve contract terms.
“In the past week we have delivered to SEIU-UHW leadership a new job security proposal and have asked for firm dates on which they are willing to renew negotiations. We have not had a reply from SEIU-UHW leadership,” Cheema said.

Protestors will gather at 6 a.m. at the Seton Medical Center, 1900 Sullivan Ave. in Daly City, for a 7 a.m. picket line and noon rally,
according to organizers.

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