Health Care Workers at Three San Jose Hospitals Owned by HCA Set to Vote on Contract
More than 1,300 health care workers at three San Jose hospitals owned by HCA are scheduled to vote Thursday and Friday on a contract that would give them "substantial" wage and benefit increases and more control over their work conditions, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Service Employees International Union Local 250 announced yesterday that it had reached a tentative agreement with HCA, after more than a year of "tense" contract negotiations, including a two-day strike in September. The proposal includes salary increases between 13% and 60% over a three-year period, dependent upon position, experience and tenure; improvements to employer-paid health insurance for workers' families; and "most significant[ly]," increased power over the hospitals' daily operations, including staffing, supply and patient care decisions, the Mercury News reports. Union spokesperson John Borsos said, "It was very important for us to reach an industry-standard contract, and that's what we've been able to do." Leslie Kelsay, spokesperson for HCA, said the company is "looking forward to having the contract accepted" after this week's vote. If approved, the contract would cover workers at San Jose Medical Center, Good Samaritan Hospital and Regional Medical Center until March 30, 2006 (Wronge, San Jose Mercury News, 12/23).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.