LOS ANGELES – Prime Healthcare, a hospital chain with a history of defrauding Medicare and cutting essential services when they acquire hospitals, is now threatening to cut the pay and benefits of hospital workers in Los Angeles, Encino, Garden Grove and Lynwood, despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Informational Pickets at Three Hospitals
On Tuesday, May 5, workers will hold informational pickets with social distancing to oppose the cuts at the following times and locations:
In contract negotiations at the three hospitals, Prime is demanding cuts to paid time off and disability benefits, and is proposing to continue underpaying workers compared to employees at other area hospitals.
“I’ve been working at Prime Centinela Hospital for 28 years now, and I sacrifice for this hospital all year long,” said Sabrina Coffey-Smith, Telemonitor Tech at Centinela. “But even in the middle of a pandemic, management still can’t see us as essential workers. They want to take away our sick time and disability benefits while we come to work every day and risk our lives.”
Cuts at St. Francis Hospital Medical Center in Lynwood
At St. Francis Hospital in Lynwood, which Prime is in the process of purchasing, the company has told workers it intends to slash wages by as much as 63% for some employees. Prime also wants free rein to outsource the jobs of workers who have stood by the hospital even as the facility has been sold and resold, suffered shortages of personal protective equipment, and is currently dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prime is proposing to cut the employee wages across the board, including a lab analyst who would see a pay cut of 63%. Other pay cuts:
The Lynwood City Council will vote on a resolution Tuesday to tell Prime not to cut services, pay or benefits at the hospital.
“The City Council of the City of Lynwood finds that the community needs the services St. Francis Medical Center provides now more than ever, and there should be no reduction in services currently provided as a result of the purchase by Prime Healthcare,” the resolution reads in part.
The resolution goes on to say that the city council “requests that Prime Healthcare make diligent effort to ensure that all current staff of the hospital who have served our community so courageously during the coronavirus pandemic be retained and that all existing labor contracts be honored so that these employees can maintain their current pay and benefits.”
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SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) is one of the largest unions of hospital workers in the United States, with 97,000 members. Learn more at www.seiu-uhw.org.