Southern California—A strike has been averted at the last community hospital of the San Fernando Valley, as Registered Nurses at Pacifica Hospital of the Valley celebrate after an agreement was reached last Thursday evening between the nurses’ union and hospital. Under the three-year agreement, the employees who are members SEIU Local 121RN will finally have a strong voice to address safety concerns at Pacifica Hospital of the Valley.
“Nurses here have served generations of area families and will continue, long term – standing up for patients and fighting to improve Pacifica,” said Amina Mohammed, a nurse who has worked more than 30 year at Pacifica Hospital. “The hospital is better when caregivers have a voice and have a seat at the table.”
Although there are other hospitals nearby, it has historically been Pacifica that best served the low-income, under-insured community.
Nurses have been committed to using their contract negotiations to try to preserve patient services. Under the provisions of the tentative agreement, the new contract will provide hospital employees:
- The first wage increases in four years, which will help the hospital tackle its rampant turnover and recruit and retain quality nurses and;
- New wage floor that elevates the base pay for many who have been underpaid for years;
- Displaced Labor and Delivery Nurses will have the opportunity to move to a new department or receive a strong severance package; and
- Improvements to staffing including protecting staffing ratios for crucial support staff, such as floor secretaries and Nurse Assistants.
“During very difficult years, we stayed at the hospital out of love and loyalty to the community. Even when our paychecks bounced under the current owner, we showed up to work to care for our patients”, said Mohammed. “No one wants the hospital to succeed more than we do and we hope this new contract will make a positive difference.”