15,000 Dignity Health Workers Reach Agreement to Protect Jobs, Patient Care

[March 19, 2018] OAKLAND, Calif.Fifteen-thousand healthcare workers in California ratified a new, five-year contract with Dignity Health, and are determined to protect jobs and patient care as the company prepares to merge with Catholic Health Initiatives.

“Our new contract maintains employer-paid family healthcare and provides rising wages, and that security and peace of mind enables us to focus on caring for our patients,” said Dennis Anderson, a laboratory assistant at Mercy Hospital in Folsom, Calif., which is owned by Dignity Health. “All frontline caregivers should have strong wages and benefits because of the crucial role we play in delivering quality patient care, and we urge all hospitals to make a greater investment in caregivers, just as Dignity Health is doing with this agreement.”

Under the new contract, workers who are members of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) will maintain fully-paid, employer-provided family healthcare, a key point of contention in negotiations. Additionally, workers will receive 13 percent raises spread over five years, a one percent bonus in the second year, and will maintain their defined benefit pension. Dignity Health will contribute an additional $500,000 a year to a joint labor-management training program that helps workers stay up-to-date with the changing healthcare environment and advance their careers.

Fifteen-thousand Dignity Health employees in California are members of SEIU-UHW, and their new contract expires April 30, 2023.

In December 2017, Dignity Health announced plans to merge with Catholic Health Initiatives, giving it a combined $28 billion in annual operations. The new corporation would be the second largest non-profit hospital system in the United States, with operations in 28 states, including its national headquarters in Chicago.

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