Sutter Roseville Will Not Allow Workers Who Participated in One-Day Strike To Return Until Next Week
Officials at Sutter Roseville Medical Center said that about 450 service and technical workers who participated in a one-day strike yesterday cannot return to work until Tuesday, when a contract with temporary workers hired to cover the vacancies ends, the Sacramento Bee reports. The workers will not receive pay over the five-day period (Campos, Sacramento Bee, 11/15). The workers, represented by Service Employees International Union Local 250, held the one-day strike after union representatives and hospital officials failed to reach agreement on a new contract. The workers' contract expired Wednesday. Hospital officials and union representatives have disagreed over salary increases and health benefits (California Healthline, 11/14). Union leaders called the hospital's action a "lockout" and said that workers would "escalate" their activities if Sutter Roseville officials bar them from work today. Barbara Nelson, the hospital's chief nursing executive, said, "Our primary responsibility is to ensure that we have caregivers here for the patients. In a strike situation, we have to guarantee the five days for the temporary workers," adding that workers on strike "can come back Tuesday." However, Nelson said, "We want our employees back. We know that this contract situation will end in a resolution. But it can be divisive for all parties" (Sacramento Bee, 11/15).
In related news, more than 1,000 registered nurses at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center also held a one-day strike yesterday, the Los Angeles Times reports. Members of the Teamsters and other unions joined the nurses on the picket line -- their second in the past three weeks (Los Angeles Times, 11/15). The nurses held the first strike on Oct. 23, an action that prompted hospital officials to impose a four-day lockout. The nurses, represented by the California Nurses Association, have sought an improved pension plan, increased staffing levels and raises for more experienced nurses, according to Diane Hirsch-Garcia, contract negotiator for CNA. The union has asked Long Beach Memorial to enroll the 1,300 registered nurses in a pension plan that would require the hospital to pay fixed amounts, rather than the varying amounts now paid out based on employee efficiency. Hospital officials agreed to study a defined benefit pension plan but have refused to meet the other requests (California Healthline, 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.