SEIU UHW Announces: Antelope Valley Hospital, Workers Reach Agreement on a Contract That Gives Caregivers a Voice in Patient Care

Saturday, August 25, 2007 General News J E 4
LANCASTER, Calif., Aug. 24 Caregivers at Antelope ValleyHospital, represented by SEIU United Healthcare Workers - West (UHW), reacheda tentative agreement for their first union contract with Antelope ValleyHospital. The contract, which expires June 30, 2009, represents a majorvictory for the workers, who have been involved in bitter negotiations withmanagement for over a year. There will be a re-opener on wages on July 1,2008.

The 2-year agreement with Antelope Valley Hospital provides real gains forhealthcare workers and the patients they care for. It includes safe staffingcommittees that give caregivers a real voice in patient care; significant wageincreases that bring caregivers closer to industry standards; and a jointlyfunded education and training program to provide career ladder trainingopportunities for all union members at the hospital.

Next week employees and the Antelope Valley Hospital Board of Directorswill vote to ratify the contract. The vote is scheduled for Wednesday,Aug. 29.

If ratified, the wage increases in the contract will bring Antelope ValleyHospital closer to the hospital industry standard in California, and are asignificant step toward improving the well-documented problems the hospitalhas had in retaining quality employees.

"We're very pleased that Antelope Valley Hospital has agreed thatproviding caregivers with a voice in staffing will markedly increase thequality of patient care at the hospital," said John Borsos, chief negotiatorand Vice President of UHW. "This settlement opens the door to a moreproductive working relationship between Antelope Valley Hospital managementand its most valuable asset, the workers who care for patients."

"With this contract, we will now be empowered to be advocates for ourpatients and, as a result, make real improvements in how they are cared for,"says Leo Ward, a lab technician at Antelope Valley Hospital. "We look forwardto working with management to find creative and innovative solutions topatient care concerns."

"We're thrilled with our contract. It preserves living wage jobs in ourcommunity -- wages that keep up with cost of living increases in our area,"says Becky Ramos, an environmental services worker.

Approximately 1,100 UHW Licensed Vocational Nurses; Certified NursingAssistants; Central Supply, ER, Laboratory, Monitor, Respiratory, Surgical andother Technicians, Technologists and Therapists and other healthcareproviders, are represented by SEIU UHW at Antelope Valley Hospital.

The 145,000-member SEIU United Healthcare Workers - West is the largesthospital and healthcare union in the western United States and representsevery type of healthcare worker, including nurses, professional, technical andservice workers. Our mission is to achieve quality healthcare for all.

Contact: Yvette Doss




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