After two strikes, hundreds of Sutter Delta healthcare workers ratify agreement to increase staffing, improve patient care

By Renée Saldaña, Media Relations, SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West

ANTIOCH, Calif. –  Following two strikes, more than 350 healthcare workers won their effort to improve patient care at Sutter Delta Medical Center by ratifying a contract agreement that will address safe staffing levels, a top issue for the frontline caregivers who earlier this year went on strike twice due to difficult working conditions. (See related article)

“This agreement was possible because we as a union stood together to improve patient care and advocated for safe staffing levels. We are relieved to know that dozens of positions have now been posted,” said Stefanye Sartain, a respiratory therapist at Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch. “We are proud to have negotiated a four-year agreement that recognizes the skill and dedication we bring to our work and gives us the peace of mind to focus on safely caring for our patients.”

Details of the agreement include:

  • Posting all 37 unposted staff positions, many of which have already been filled
  • Emphasizing the need to attract and retain quality caregivers by providing annual raises of 3 or 4 percent in each of the four years, with bonuses to recognize the dedication of long-term employees
  • A 4-million-dollar investment in Futuro Health, a non-profit dedicated to training thousands of healthcare workers to address the workforce shortage

SEIU-UHW members at Sutter Delta Medical Center include frontline workers such as emergency room technicians, respiratory therapists, phlebotomists, transporters, and licensed vocational nurses.

Sutter Health Responds

A Sutter Health spokesperson responded with, “We enter every labor negotiation with the same mindset: putting patients above politics. While we understand the union’s desire to position this agreement as a win, the truth is that it’s consistent with the agreements that every other SEIU-represented hospital in our integrated network of care approved months ago. Despite the disruptions of two strikes called by SEIU representatives who claim they prioritize patient safety, we reached an agreement that hits the critical benchmarks we set for ourselves: supporting and rewarding our employees for their important work and maintaining the strength and stability of our hospital for everyone who depends on us.”

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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