Unionized Alta Bates Summit Medical Center Employees Reject Contract Offer
Unionized Alta Bates Summit Medical Center employees, who are represented by the Service Employees International Union Local 250, on Friday announced that 90% of voting members cast ballots to reject the Sutter Health facility's proposal for a new contract, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. About 800 of 1,200 eligible members voted on Wednesday and Thursday. Union leadership said the new contract proposal is not as attractive as those recently bargained with Catholic Healthcare West and Kaiser Permanente, even though it included a $2,000 ratification bonus. The old contract expired April 30 (Raine, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/5). As the contract was about to expire, Alta Bates negotiators clashed with SEIU representatives because hospital officials wanted to focus discussions on wages and workers' benefits, but union leaders wanted to expand talks to address their established priorities. Alta Bates offered an annual 3% salary increase over the next five years for most employees represented by SEIU and a salary increase for licensed vocational nurses of 8% in the first year and 3% in subsequent years (California Healthline, 4/28). The union last week also accused supervisors and security guards of intimidating workers to sway their votes and said that management hired anti-union consultants and handed out "scathing workplace flyers." At the same time, Alta Bates officials said the union members harassed employees at the workplace and at their homes, interrupted their work and frightened many employees. Negotiations are scheduled for Wednesday (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/5).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.