After weeks of unsuccessful labor negotiations, more than 2,000 Cedars-Sinai Medical Center workers began a five-day strike on Monday, May 9, alleging they were underpaid, short of staff, and Struggling to provide adequate patient care.
Nearly 500 workers, represented by SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West, gathered at the corner of Beverly and San Vicente Boulevard early Monday with messages like “Patients benefit more,” “Healthcare Heroes Need Safe Staffing” and “Enough.” is enough.”
He has accused the Los Angeles hospital of unfair labor practices and is urging the facility to bargain in good faith.
“We’ve got a lot of people banging horns in support,” said SEIU spokeswoman Renee Saldana. “Patients slow down their cars to ask what’s going on and we have music to keep our workers’ spirits up.”
More than 2,000 maintenance workers, service workers and clinical support workers represent approximately 14% of Cedar’s workforce. His previous three-year contract expired on March 31.
“We certainly didn’t want to do that, but we’re very disappointed with how they’ve treated us over the past two and a half years,” said Luz Oglesby, clinical partner at the Los Angeles facility. “We’ve risked our lives caring for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, and they should look after our staff.”
Olsby, who has worked at the hospital for nearly 16 years, said Cedar had rejected the union’s request to ensure workers had access to protection against the spread of the coronavirus and pregnant and immunocompromised workers to have COVID-19. Have an adequate supply of protective equipment to keep them away from patients.
Cedar’s president and CEO Thomas Priselack denied that allegation.
In a May 8 letter to staff, patients and the community, Pricelac said the hospital’s precautions and safety measures are “in line with federal and state guidelines to protect all staff entering patient areas.”
“We have provided all employees with the same level of access to personal protective equipment – regardless of the work they did,” he said, adding that the hospital continues to pay employees who have died from COVID-19. sick, while they recover. They do not have to use their earned leave or sick leave to take time off.
Oglesby said workers are struggling to get wages because of the seeder’s offer amid rising inflation. The hospital’s current starting salary is around $17 an hour.
“Some of my colleagues are living in their cars because they can’t afford housing,” she said.
Oglesby said the hospital has proposed an annual wage increase of 2.25%, but Pricelac said Cedar has offered an average wage increase of 16% over the length of the three-year contract, which begins immediately upon ratification.
“We hoped to avoid the strike with contract proposals that would continue to reward our represented employees with market-leading salaries – including for their hard work, outstanding performance and dedication to the community,” Piselas said in his letter. substantial wage increase.”
The management said that the hospital would remain open and fully operational during the strike. Both sides are due to resume labor talks on Tuesday, May 10.
“While we are disappointed with the current outcome of the recent negotiations, we stand ready to continue our positive and cooperative dialogue with the union,” Prisselack said. “We understand that a fair settlement can only happen through constructive discussions at the bargaining table.”
State health and safety regulators fined Cedar $97,700 last year for seven citations that violated Cal/OSHA regulations aimed at protecting workplace safety.
Four were classified as “serious” health and safety violations related to the prevention of COVID-19, including the failure to promptly report serious illness to multiple workers who contracted COVID-19 and were sufficient to protect employees. Involves failure to maintain a risk-control plan. Those who are at risk of contracting certain airborne infections.
But Pricelac said the hospital earned five consecutive stars from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services—the highest rating from the federal government and an honor earned by only 14% of American hospitals surveyed.
Pricelac further noted that Cedars is one of the top 10 hospitals in the country, consistently earning a spot on U.S. News & World Report’s honor roll of “Best Hospital.”