Union and Hospitals Reach Agreement for Education Fund
The Services Employees International Union Local 250, which represents health care workers in Northern California, on Monday announced a deal with several hospitals and health systems -- including Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Catholic Healthcare West, Washington Hospital in Fremont and Alameda Hospital -- to create a training and education fund for workers, Inside Bay Area reports.
The trust fund will be administered by three trustees representing Local 250 and three from the hospitals. According to Local 250 officials, the fund eventually will hold millions of dollars. Catholic Healthcare West will contribute the equivalent of 0.22% of overall income to the fund. The others will contribute undisclosed lump sums.
"We are committed to providing opportunities for the health care workers of today and educating the next generation of workers to meet the needs of patients in the years to come," Mary Ann Thode, president of Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and Hospitals of Northern California, said in a statement.
Funding for education and training is "a major sticking point" in Local 250's ongoing negotiations with Sutter Health hospitals, according to Inside Bay Area. Thousands of Sutter employees in early December held a 24-hour strike to protest Sutter's labor practices, including inadequate training funds, union officials said. Sutter officials say they provide sufficient training programs for workers. However, Local 250 President Sal Rosselli said that Sutter facilities have not shown the same level of cooperation as is demonstrated in the joint hospital training fund (Vesely, Inside Bay Area, 12/21).