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UPDATE: Some Tenet Health workers threaten to strike over COVID-19 safety measures

A date for the proposed strike has not been set
tenet health central coast.jpg
Posted at 1:10 PM, Oct 28, 2020

UPDATE (12/11/20) - A union representative says a contract settlement "that addresses pandemic safety and other workplace health protocols" has been reached.

ORIGINAL STORY: Workers at 11 Tenet Healthcare hospitals across California are threatening to strike over COVID-19 safety measures.

More than 4,000 employees in Tenet facilities, who are members of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West, reportedly voted in favor of a strike.

The union alleges Tenet has rejected the proposals on pandemic safety.

Tenet Health Central Coast responded saying the union represents non-nursing staff in its hospitals and ensures patient care will continue should a strike happen.

“The SEIU UHW, the labor union that represents non-nursing ancillary staff in our hospitals, has issued a press release stating that their members have voted to authorize a strike. The union’s press release is misleading for a number of reasons:

- We have been negotiating in good faith since May and have made considerable progress. Last week the parties reached agreement on over 40 non-economic items and we are awaiting the union’s response on over 30 proposals.

- We are actively negotiating with the union. Despite the union’s suggestion, our negotiations have not broken down and we have not received the required 10-day strike notice from the union. There is no strike currently underway.

- Should the union proceed to notify us of a strike, our hospitals will remain fully operational and patient care will continue uninterrupted.

- We are disappointed the union has used this tactic in an attempt to put pressure on our hospitals when our focus remains on caring for our communities during the pandemic.

- Every protocol in our COVID response has been built around the safety of our patients and staff and in compliance with CDC guidelines and state orders. In fact, our national employee average infection rate is under four percent compared to a reported national average of more than approximately 13 percent

We are committed to continuing to negotiate in good faith with SEIU UHW and to reaching a fair and equitable resolution.”

A spokesperson for SEIU-UHW says the strike is scheduled to take place next month, but an exact date has yet to be set.

By law, the union says they have to give employees a 10-day notice prior to a strike.

Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center and Twin Cities Community Hospital in San Luis Obispo County are both part of Tenet Health.