Nurses Begin 4-Day Walkout
Labor: St. Vincent staff strikes for higher pay; Queen of Angels workers agree to new pact.
By CLAIRE LUNA
TIMES STAFF WRITER
August 8 2002
Registered nurses at a Los Angeles hospital launched a four-day walkout Wednesday, the same day health workers at another facility announced a three-year contract following months of negotiations and two strikes.
About 350 registered nurses at St. Vincent Medical Center are expected to strike in a push for salary increases, especially for senior staff members, said David Johnson, spokesman for the California Nurses Assn.
The hospital has hired temporary nursing staff to ensure patient services are not disrupted, officials said. Administrators said they have not been given a chance to renew negotiations since nurses rejected a tentative agreement in mid-July.
Nurses at St. Vincent contend they are not paid comparably to others in the area with their level of experience.
"It's not fair," said Michelle Cabauatan, a nurse at St. Vincent for five years. She said new hires are paid more than she is.
"We're the ones mentoring and guiding them, but they're getting the bonuses."
Meanwhile, nurses and other health workers at Queen of Angels-Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center celebrated a contract with parent company Tenet Healthcare Corp.
The agreement will raise salaries at least 11% over three years, reduce employees' out-of-pocket costs for health benefits and include nurses on committees that make staffing and patient care decisions.
Workers said perseverance, including six months of negotiations and two walkouts earlier in the summer, paid off.
"We moved workers to fight for themselves," said social worker Sonya Jimmons. "And that unity and strength moved Tenet past their last, best and final offer."
Aug 9, '02
<You are right Jt it doesn't make a lick of sense they should prolong the walk for 6 months. Those strikebreakers could be making about 2500-4000 a week that is the sad thing.>
Actually it does make a lot of sense. The reason why is because the staff RNs would be paid out of the hospitals money so any raises the staff RNs get would be coming out of the hospitals pocket. The strikebusters are paid out of state TAXPAYER money -& in Connecticut it even comes out of medicare/medicaide monies. So the hospital doesnt care how much they cost or how long they are there - the goal is to avoid having to pay more to their own staff out of their own pockets.
Last year RNs in NY had a strike did last 6 months - From right after Thanksgiving, lasting until after Mothers Day. The hospital spent $19 Million on strikebusting only to lose out to the RNs & give them what they needed anyway. Another $14 Million is unaccounted for & the board of directors was being investigated by the state attorney general over it. Does the hospital care?That money came from the communitys pocket - not the hospitals.
In fact, after the strike, the whole top administration resigned & walked away from the hospital & the CFO who gave all those millions to the strike agency allegedly was hired as an executive at that strike agency.
Last edit by -jt on Aug 9, '02
Aug 11, '02
<<This is why nurses across the United States MUST take a stand and stand for what they believe is RIGHT when it comes to the treatment of nurses. What really needs to be done is an across the board strike....meaning.......ALL nurses who hold jobs in this UNITED STATES should all pick the same day to globally walk out in unison and stand in front of their governer's work place until he/she sits down with them......and LISTENS to what we have to say. CAN WOMEN DO THIS???>>
Unfortunately, it will Never happen. Not when there are so many nurses who can so easily be bought off by the dangling golden carrot:
<<the strikebreaking RNs from US Nursing put dollar bills on the window of the bus as they were taken back to the Hilton hotel. Proves their motivation.>>
Funny how they all complain about their poor wages, lack of benefits, difficult working conditions but will jump without a second thought, if the price is right, to sabotage the efforts of other RNs who are trying to correct those very same things.
Last edit by -jt on Aug 11, '02