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SEIU: Hundreds of Cedars-Sinai Employees Will Strike Over Unfair Labor Practices, Short Staffing, High Patient Infection Rates

Los Angeles, April 29, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Citing concerns over a series of unfair labor practices as well as employee and patient safety concerns, short-staffing, and low wages, hundreds of healthcare workers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center will walk off the job and onto an Unfair Labor Practice strike line at 5 a.m. on Monday, May 9th.  

Healthcare workers at Cedars-Sinai are asking their employer to stop committing unfair labor practices and to bargain in good faith.  Employees are also concerned about receiving basic protections to ensure patient and worker safety. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center was recently issued a hospital safety grade of “D” by the independent consumer healthcare watchdog, the Leapfrog group.[1] The “D” rating is a downgrade from Cedar’s previous safety rating of “C,” which was issued in Spring 2021.

Factors contributing to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s ‘D’ rating include:

  • Infections - Cedars-Sinai received “below average” performance scores for the following types of potentially life-threatening infections: C. diff infection, infection in the blood, infection in the urinary tract, surgical site infection after colon surgery, and sepsis infection after surgery.
  • Problems with Surgery - Cedars-Sinai received “below average” performance scores for the following measures related to surgery: dangerous object left in the patient’s body, surgical wound splits open, blood leakage, kidney injury after surgery, serious breathing problem, and accidental cuts and tears.
  • Safety Problems – Cedars-Sinai received “below average” performance scores for the following measures: harmful events, dangerous bed sores, collapsed lung, and dangerous blood clots.
  • Practices to Prevent Errors – Cedars-Sinai received “below average” performance scores for the following measures: doctors order medications through a computer, safe medication administration, communication about medicines, and communication about discharge.

“We are very frustrated that despite us risking our lives to deliver word-class healthcare for our patients, management at Cedars-Sinai has not bargained in good faith and continues to commit unfair labor practices.  Management doesn't seem to take patient or worker safety seriously," said Luz Oglesby, a clinical partner at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "In our latest round of bargaining, Cedars-Sinai rejected our proposals on PPE stockpiles, COVID exposure notifications, keeping pregnant and immunocompromised workers away from COVID patients, and other safety measures. We’re asking for basic workplace protections and respect for the lives and health of caregivers and patients.”

Earlier this month, Cedars-Sinai employees held a picket in protest of the hospital’s threat to workers and patients after Cal/OSHA issued the hospital seven citations for violating OSHA regulations designed to protect workplace safety. Four of the citations were classified as serious health and safety violations related to COVID-19 prevention.     

The Unfair Labor Practice strike consists of various job classes at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, including certified nursing assistants, sterile processing technicians, transporters, environmental services, plant operations, surgical technicians, and foodservice technicians.

[1] https://www.hospitalsafetygrade.org/h/cedars-sinai-medical-center

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Renee Saldana
Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW)
213-479-5137
rsaldana@seiu-uhw.org
Source: Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW)

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