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Alta Bates and Summit Medical Centers Prepare for Second Strike.

Business & News Editors/Medical Writers

BERKELEY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 24, 2000

Once again, the Health Care Workers, SEIU SEIU Service Employees International Union
SEIU Special Education Intake Unit
SEIU Secondary Education Interdisciplinary Unit
SEIU Software Engineering Institute Union
, Local 250 has issued strike notices. Nine hospitals have received notices, eight are in the Bay Area: Alta Bates Bates   , Katherine Lee 1859-1929.

American educator and writer best known for her poem "America the Beautiful," written in 1893 and revised in 1904 and 1911.
 Medical Center, Summit Medical Center, Sutter Solano Hospital, Eden Medical Center, Seton Medical Center, Saint Francis Memorial Hospital Saint Francis Memorial Hospital (SFMH) is a hospital in San Francisco, California, USA. It is currently operated by Catholic Healthcare West. History
Founded just over a century ago in San Francisco by five physicians, they undertook to build "the most up-to-date modern
, St. Mary's Medical Center St. Mary's Medical Center may refer to:
  • St. Mary's Medical Center — San Francisco, California
  • St. Mary's Medical Center — Blue Springs, Missouri
  • St. Mary's Medical Center — Knoxville, Tennessee
  • St.
 and Alameda Alameda (ăləmē`də, –mā`də), city (1990 pop. 76,459), Alameda co., W central Calif., on an island just off the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay; settled 1850, inc. as a city 1884.  Hospital.

The threatened strike is scheduled for Wednesday, August 2. It remains unclear just how long the strike will last.

Irwin C. Hansen, President and Chief Executive Officer of Alta Bates and Summit stated, "It is hard to imagine a more irresponsible act than to once again put the community's health care at risk because of union demands for what amounts to a lifetime job guarantee. Alta Bates and Summit hospitals will not put our patients and their families through another emotional and unnecessary event."

"Local 250, which represent environmental service workers, dietary workers and LVNs, is demanding guaranteed jobs for life -- something it won't put in writing for its own employees. Local 250 is willing to create local health care chaos to achieve this."

Hansen went on to state, "Consider the emotional toll on patients and their families as a result of the last reckless act by L. 250:

-- 32 infants had to be transferred from the Newborn Intensive

Care Nursery to as far away as Santa Rosa Santa Rosa, city, Argentina
Santa Rosa, city (1991 pop. 80,629), capital of La Pampa prov., central Argentina. It is a modern city and road junction surrounded by a rich agricultural and cattle-raising area.
 and Palo Alto Palo Alto, city, California
Palo Alto (păl`ō ăl`tō), city (1990 pop. 55,900), Santa Clara co., W Calif.; inc. 1894. Although primarily residential, Palo Alto has aerospace, electronics, and advanced research industries.

-- Over 125 very ill patients were transferred to other hospitals

-- to doctors they didn't know -- through the Caldicott

tunnel, along crowded freeways to Pinole Pinole (pĭnōl`), city (1990 pop. 17,460), Contra Costa co., W Calif., on San Pablo Bay; inc. 1903. Primarily residential, it manufactures concrete and chemicals.  and across the Bay

Bridge to San Francisco San Francisco (săn frănsĭs`kō), city (1990 pop. 723,959), coextensive with San Francisco co., W Calif., on the tip of a peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay, which are connected by the strait known as the Golden .

-- Hundreds of patients who were scheduled for serious procedures

such as chemotherapy, hip replacements and open heart

surgeries had to delay those surgeries."

Hansen went on to explain the strike's emotional and physical toll on employees and medical staff:

-- More than 700 employees endured union threats and intimidation

and did cross the picket line to care for patients.

-- Physicians could not admit their patients, who depend upon and

trust their own personal doctors, at Alta Bates or Summit.

They were forced to transfer patients to the care of

physicians at other facilities.

"This may have been just 'one day' in the life of those who called this strike," Hansen continued. "But anyone who is hospitalized never forgets that 'one day' when they welcomed a new baby, sat by the bedside of a very sick loved one, or suffered the loss of a family member. Our patients need our care every day -- 365 days a year, 24 hours a day."

The hospitals faced with the union escalation of strike activities are considering their options and have bargaining and mediation sessions scheduled between now and the union's August 2 strike date.

Where Alta Bates and Summit labor negotiations currently stand:

Alta Bates and Summit have made the following offers to Local 250:

-- 4% increase each year for the first 2 years of the contract.

-- Equal wage scales for the Alta Bates and Summit employees by

January 2001.

-- A ban on mandatory overtime as part of a package to settle

various issues still on the bargaining table.

-- Full health benefit coverage, paid in full by the medical


-- Maintaining the current generous retirement packages.

-- Increase cap on sick leave accrual accrual,
n continually recurring short-term liabilities. Examples are accrued wages, taxes, and interest.
 to 1000 hours.

-- Special consideration for long-term employees: an annual bonus

payment equivalent to one week's pay to regular employees with

at least 40 years of service on anniversary date.

-- Committees that allow employees represented by Local 250 to

give input on staffing, employee safety, child and elder care,

education and training, scheduling and classifications.

These are offers that meet the needs of our employees. These are offers similar to agreements successfully reached with California Nurses Association The California Nurses Association (CNA) is the largest and fastest-growing labor union and professional association of Registered Nurses in California. The National Nurses Organizing Committee is a national labor union for Registered Nurses, and is affiliated with the CNA. , Local 29 (which represent Clinical Lab Scientists), Local 39 (Stationery Engineers), and Local 6 (which represents various technical employees).

Local 250 threatens to strike again over an agenda that includes issues unrelated to the wages, hours and working conditions of Alta Bates and Summit employees and that are not contained in any of the other labor contracts:

-- Local 250 leadership is demanding that we take away the right

of a National Labor Relations Board National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), independent agency of the U.S. government created under the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (Wagner Act), and amended by the acts of 1947 (Taft-Hartley Labor Act) and 1959 (Landrum-Griffin Act), which affirmed labor's right  election that would give

unorganized workers the choice of whether or not to be

represented by Local 250.

-- Local 250 wants to turn final staffing decisions over to an

outside, third person that has no relationship to the medical

center or our employees and who may have little or no

background on hospital staffing issues.

-- Local 250 is demanding what amounts to a lifetime job

guarantee and a prohibition on flexible staffing due to

patient census.

Negotiations with the Federal Mediator mediator n. a person who conducts mediation. A mediator is usually a lawyer, or retired judge, but can be a non-attorney specialist in the subject matter (like child custody) who tries to bring people and their disputes to early resolution through a conference.  are scheduled for July 25, July 31 and August 1.
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Date:Jul 24, 2000
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