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UHW Announces: Antelope Valley Hospital Caregivers and Board Vote to Ratify First Union Contract With SEIU UHW-West

LANCASTER, Calif., Aug. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Caregivers at Antelope Valley Hospital, represented by SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West (UHW), voted today to ratify their first union contract with Antelope Valley Hospital.

The contract, which expires June 30, 2009, was ratified by a vote of 92.25 percent YES to 7.04 percent no.

The 2-year agreement with Antelope Valley Hospital provides real gains for healthcare workers and the patients they care for. It includes safe staffing committees that give caregivers a real voice in patient care; significant wage increases that bring caregivers closer to industry standards; and a jointly funded education and training program to provide career ladder training opportunities for all union members at the hospital.

The wage increases in the contract will bring Antelope Valley Hospital closer to the hospital industry standard in California, and are a significant step toward improving the well-documented problems the hospital has had in retaining quality employees.

"We're very pleased that Antelope Valley Hospital has agreed that providing caregivers with a voice in staffing will markedly increase the quality of patient care at the hospital," said John Borsos, chief negotiator and Vice President of UHW. "This settlement opens the door to a more productive working relationship between Antelope Valley Hospital management and its most valuable asset, the workers who care for patients."

"With this contract, we will now be empowered to be advocates for our patients and, as a result, make real improvements in how they are cared for," says Leo Ward, a lab technician at Antelope Valley Hospital. "We look forward to working with management to find creative and innovative solutions to patient care concerns."

"We're thrilled with our contract. It preserves living wage jobs in our community--wages that keep up with cost of living increases in our area," says Becky Ramos, an environmental services worker.

Approximately 1,100 UHW Licensed Vocational Nurses; Certified Nursing Assistants; Central Supply, ER, Laboratory, Monitor, Respiratory, Surgical and other Technicians, Technologists and Therapists and other healthcare providers, are represented by SEIU UHW at Antelope Valley Hospital.

The 145,000-member SEIU United Healthcare Workers -- West is the largest hospital and healthcare union in the western United States and represents every type of healthcare worker, including nurses, professional, technical and service workers. Our mission is to achieve quality healthcare for all.

Contact: Yvette Doss


SOURCE SEIU United Healthcare Workers
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