Registered Nurses Begin Four-Day Strike at Los Angeles Hospital
About 350 registered nurses at St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles yesterday began a four-day strike, calling for improved wages, the Los Angeles Times reports (Luna, Los Angeles Times, 8/8). The nurses, represented by the California Nurses Association, went on strike after union negotiations with a federal mediator on Friday failed to reach an agreement (AP/Ventura County Star, 8/8). St. Vincent nurses "contend they are not paid comparably" to nurses with similar experience at other area hospitals (Los Angeles Times, 8/8). David Johnson, a CNA spokesperson, said that the nurses rejected a tentative contract agreement on July 13 "because they believed most senior nurses, with 20 years service or more, would not receive a high-enough pay rate to retain them." St. Vincent officials said that the hospital has "instituted contingency staffing plans" to avoid disruptions in patient services. Hospital officials added, "We remain hopeful than an agreement can be reached" (AP/Ventura County Star, 8/8).
Meanwhile, nurses and other health care workers at Queen of Angels-Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles yesterday reached a contract agreement with parent company Tenet Healthcare Corp. after six months of negotiations and two strikes earlier this summer (Los Angeles Times, 8/8). Under the contract, the workers, represented by the Service Employees International Union Local 399, will receive a 5% raise in the first year and additional 3% increases in the second and third years (AP/Ventura County Star, 8/8). The contract also will reduce workers' out-of-pocket costs for health insurance and will allow nurses to serve on hospital committees that make staffing and patient care decisions (Los Angeles Times, 8/8).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.