Service Workers at Stanford, Lucille Packard Children’s Hospitals To Strike Tomorrow
After rejecting management's contract offer on Friday, workers at the Stanford and Lucile Salter Packard Children's hospitals will hold a one-day strike on Wednesday, the San Jose Mercury News reports (Vo, San Jose Mercury News, 11/12). According to Stanford spokesperson Maria La Ganga, the proposed contract, which included a 21% wage increase over three years, represented the hospitals' "last, best and final offer" for the 1,400 workers, who include nursing assistants, laboratory technicians and housekeepers. The workers, represented by Service Employees International Union Local 715, are seeking improved wages, a procedure to address staffing issues and less use of nonunion workers at the hospitals (California Healthline, 11/8). Hospital officials have proposed an advisory committee to help with staffing decisions, but the workers want the committee to have equal numbers of workers and managers. In addition, the workers want to bring disputes to a third party, but the hospital has refused binding arbitration. "Ultimately, we believe internal leadership can do a better job making staffing decisions than an outside third party that doesn't know our institutions and doesn't know our issues," La Ganga said. During the contract dispute, the workers have focused on patient care issues. They contend that because they have no say in staffing decisions, they are sometimes "overworked and cannot provide adequate care," the Mercury News reports. To prepare for the strike, the hospitals have cancelled all elective surgeries and will have other employees fill in for striking workers; the emergency room will remain open. No additional contract negotiations are scheduled (San Jose Mercury News, 11/12).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.