BAY AREA: One-Day Strike Held, Impact Unclear
While yesterday's one-day walkout by 3,500 members of Service Employees International Union Local 250 at eight Bay area hospitals "did not disrupt operations," it remains unclear what impact the job action had on the "stalemate" between the union and the hospitals, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The union, which represents technicians, licensed vocational nurses, respiratory therapists, housekeepers and clerks, is attempting to win a "bigger role" for workers in hospital staffing decisions. The one-day strike targeted five Sutter Health-owned hospitals -- Alta Bates Medical Center in Berkeley, Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, Summit Medical Center in Oakland, Sutter Solano Medical Center in Vallejo and Sutter Lakeside Hospital in Lakeport -- and three Catholic Healthcare West hospitals -- Seton Medical Center in Daly City, St. Francis Memorial Hospital and St. Mary's Medical Center in San Francisco. Both Sutter and CHW have "refused" to grant workers more authority in staffing decisions (Pimentel, San Francisco Chronicle, 10/26). Local 250 targeted the same hospitals this summer, organizing a one-day strike in July and a two-day strike in August. Sutter Health and union officials have not negotiated since August and a tentative deal between Local 250 and CHW fell through this summer after CHW officials said their negotiator had failed to clear the proposal with management ( California Healthline, 10/24). Some hospitals brought in replacement workers, but there were no major problems, according to hospital officials. CHW spokesperson Robert Polzoni said, "Operations are moving smoothly. The strike has had no impact." Still, Local 250 President Sal Rosselli said that the workers are "absolutely united" in winning a role in staffing issues. He added, "It's just a matter of time" (San Francisco Chronicle, 10/26).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.