NUHW members at Kindred San Leandro fought hard for contract win
After several months of negotiations and a series of escalating actions that demonstrated their unity, nursing assistants, food service workers, housekeepers and unit secretaries at Kindred Hospital San Leandro overwhelmingly won a four-year contract that will boost wages and lower healthcare premiums.
The Service Unit workers at the Bay Area hospital won the contract shortly after unanimously authorizing an informational picket. Previously, the workers organized a sticker-up and conducted a Christmas-themed “March on the Boss” during which they delivered a petition wrapped with a bow to let the CEO know they were serious about winning a strong contract that could help the hospital recruit and retain workers.
About one in five NUHW members attended bargaining sessions, a demonstration of unity that was instrumental in moving Kindred management off its initial, unacceptable wage proposals.
“We forced Kindred to recognize our hard work and listen to our demands, and we held firm until we won a contract that will significantly improve wages,” said Betsy Perry, a licensed vocational nurse. “We’re facing a lot of staffing issues that have increased our duties and this contract gives us the security of good raises and lower health insurance premiums.”
The contract provides wage increases of:
- 12.25 percent wage increase for employees with 10 or more years of service.
- 10.5 percent for workers with 5-10 years of service.
- 9 percent for employees with less than 5 years of service.
- 2 percent for per diem workers.
The wage hikes will begin in June 2022, when new shift differentials take effect for the Nursing, Housekeeping, Dietary, and Unit Secretary departments.
In addition, on January 1, 2023, each benefited employee will receive a 1 percent wage increase in exchange for not receiving an additional three days of paid sick leave. Per diem workers will keep the three days of paid sick leave.
Healthcare premiums will be lowered between five and 13 percent, effective in January 2024.
The contract also establishes the creation of a Patient Care Committee that will meet each month to discuss how to improve patient care and working conditions at the hospital. A separate Joint Practice Committee, composed of two union and two management representatives, would make final recommendations on issues not resolved by the Patient Care Committee.