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Tenet Hospital Workers Ratify Statewide Contract

Agreement Includes Training Fund, Raises, Fair Election Agreement

SANTA ANA, Calif., Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Healthcare workers at 14 California hospitals from Palm Springs to San Ramon ratified a new contract with Tenet Healthcare Corp. this week, cementing a deal to strengthen care at their facilities and bringing closure to bargaining that lasted more than a year.

The workers, represented by SEIU locals United Healthcare Workers-West and 121RN, overwhelmingly ratified the tentative agreement reached two weeks ago. The votes were counted on Saturday. Ninety-eight percent of the nurses, aides, technicians, clerks, and other workers who cast ballots voted to approve the agreement.

"I'm so glad we came out of this process with a great contract," said Tony Aidukas, a rehab specialist at Desert Regional Medical Center. "We won fair wage increases that bring us closer to industry standards, and protected our ability to be involved in patient-care decisions. This contract will improve the lives of hospital patients and healthcare workers alike."

The contract covers 7,000 workers at 14 Tenet hospitals: Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs; Doctors Hospital of Manteca; Doctors Medical Center of Modesto; Encino-Tarzana Regional Medical Center (both campuses); Garden Grove Hospital and Medical Center; Irvine Regional Hospital and Medical Center; John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Indio; Lakewood Regional Medical Center; Los Alamitos Medical Center; San Ramon Regional Medical Center; Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo; Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton; and USC University Hospital in Los Angeles.

The agreement strengthens patient-care committees and includes provisions that emulate the success of SEIU-represented hospitals, where care has improved through improving workers' voice on the job. It establishes a "no subcontracting" clause to ensure the hospitals will be staffed by well-trained and skilled healthcare workers.

Additionally, the contract includes across-the-board increases to base wage rates. The average worker covered by the agreement will see their wages increase 28 percent over the life of the contract, which expires on March 31, 2011.

"This contract represents another victory for patients and healthcare workers," said Sal Rosselli, UHW president. "It confirms what many hospital systems already know: patient care is improved when frontline caregivers have a voice. I applaud our members for the hard work they put into bargaining this great agreement."

The unions' California bargaining team also secured a Fair Election Agreement, in which Tenet management agrees not to engage in negative campaigning or other union-busting activities should workers attempt to organize at other Tenet hospitals. Other health systems in California have come under increased scrutiny in recent months for using heavy-handed and sometimes illegal tactics to discourage workers from joining a union.

SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West and SEIU Local 121RN represent more than 152,000 healthcare workers in California. Together, both locals represent every type of caregiver, including nursing, professional, technical and service workers. Our mission is to ensure quality healthcare for all.

CONTACT: Mason Stockstill

(510) 206-8247

SOURCE SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West
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