Keck-USC workers ratify contract

NewsJuly 27, 2021

More than 1,500 NUHW members Keck Hospital of USC, USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, several university clinics, and a university call center won a three-year contract that includes major concessions from the university.

The workers, who had authorized a strike in May, voted 98 percent to ratify the contract that includes substantial raises and improved health benefits for workers. The Orange County Register/Los Angeles Daily News wrote about the ratification vote.

“This is a fair contract that honors our hard work and ensures that Keck-USC will be able to recruit and retain top-level caregivers well into the future,” said Noemi Aguirre, a respiratory therapist at Keck Hospital of USC. “I’m proud of my coworkers for standing united during negotiations and winning a contract that will improve our lives and the care our patients receive.”

The newly-ratified contract includes:

  • Raises ranging from 10.9 to 39 percent for USC Keck and Norris hospital workers over the next three years.
  • Raises ranging from 10.9 to 44 percent for workers at USC ambulatory clinics over the next three years.
  • Raises ranging from 10.9 to 68 percent for workers at the USC call center over the next three years.

USC also agreed to:

  • Extend fully employer-paid health insurance already available to USC Keck and Norris hospital workers to workers at the call centers and ambulatory clinics.
  • Achieve parity with wages UCLA pays certain classifications of healthcare workers that had received higher wages than their USC counterparts. 
  • Establish new worker health safeguards that include maintaining a three-month stockpile of PPE and guaranteeing appropriate PPE for caregivers treating highly infectious patients.
  • Resume fully funding its employee retirement contributions starting next year.

Additionally, the university backed off a proposal that would have prohibited workers from exercising their right to hold protests while under contract, revoked a punitive attendance policy that put workers at risk of discipline when they took time off to care for sick family members and agreed to restore holiday pay it had unilaterally taken from Norris hospital workers.