Saturday, 18 May 2024

Union plans informational picket at Sutter Lakeside Hospital

LAKEPORT – Citing its frustration at not reaching a contract with Sutter Health, SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West (UHW) has called for an informational picket to be held next week at Sutter Lakeside Hospital.


The picket, scheduled on Wednesday, Oct. 29, will be held in Lakeport and at Sutter Medical Center in Santa Rosa.


On the same day, UHW plans a strike at Alliance Clinic in Healdsburg and 10 hospitals, five belonging to Daughters of Charity and five Sutter Health facilities – three Alta Bates Summit campuses, Sutter Solano Medical Center in Vallejo and Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch. California Nurses Association members will strike in solidarity with UHW at those hospitals.


"We were surprised to receive notice of SEIU's informational picket and believe that the picket has nothing to do with issues we are discussing locally," said Sutter Lakeside Hospital spokesman Mitch Proaps. "We have been bargaining in good faith with SEIU and will continue to do so."


UHW is alleging "unfair labor practices and bad-faith negotiation by hospital management" as the reason for the strike, which was called less than a week after the union negotiated what representatives called a "landmark" master agreement with Catholic Healthcare West.


Sutter hospitals have been in contract negotiations with UHW and its 3,300 caregivers since May, the union reported. Since Sept. 30, those workers have been without a contract.


The management of Sutter Health – the largest hospital corporation in Northern California – has "refused to accept any proposal workers have offered to improve patient care, and instead proposed dramatic cuts that would make it harder to recruit and retain experienced staff," according to a union statement.


Proaps said UHW presented its final group of proposals to Sutter Lakeside in early October. "We are in the process of developing a comprehensive response to those proposals and have a bargaining session scheduled in early November."


He added, "We are proud of what we offer our employees – we provide excellent working conditions, wages, and benefits and strive to be an employer of choice in Lake County."


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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