On Friday, November 8, we received notice that the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW): a union representing technical and service caregivers, plans to strike at St. Joseph Hospital Eureka and Redwood Memorial Hospital at 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, November 20 until 6:00 a.m. Thursday, November 21.
During the strike our hospitals will maintain daily operations and all hospital services and most outpatient services will remain open. While certain outpatient imaging services will need to be closed for one day, our community can continue to count on the safe, high-quality care it has come to expect from St. Joseph Health, Humboldt County.
We respect our caregivers’ rights to engage in this action and other lawful activities. However, we are disappointed that the union started negotiations with a request for a 20% salary increase over a three year period. Their decision to strike is unfortunate given we had informed their representatives over a month ago that we were prepared to enhance our economics proposal. The proposal features significant wage increases and a generous package of benefits, including the same paid time off (PTO), retirement and benefit options that NUHW-represented caregivers in southern California have accepted in their contracts.
Our preference has always been to reach a mutually acceptable agreement constructively and in good faith therefore we offered to involve a federal mediator, however, the union declined. It remains our desire to reach an agreement with NUHW so that our employees may receive the significant and immediate wage increases our current offer would provide. We hope the union will engage more constructively in the process when we return to the table after the strike.
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