NUHW members win big raises at West Anaheim Medical Center
NUHW members at West Anaheim Medical Center overwhelmingly ratified a strong contract that was settled just days before they were set to hold a four-day strike.
More than 100 caregivers, including nurses, respiratory therapists, and medical technicians, voted overwhelmingly to approve the new contract that includes on average a 19 percent pay increase over three years, with two thirds of workers getting raises between 9 and 31 percent this year.
“Management saw that we were ready to strike, and they folded,” said respiratory therapist Rom Borromeo. “This is a contract that is going to help us, especially in a time of growing inflation, and it’s going to help the hospital keep good caregivers here serving our community.”
In November, workers at West Anaheim held an informational picket to demand the hospital address staffing shortages after nearly all of its phlebotomists, who perform laboratory work, as well as numerous respiratory therapists who operate ventilators, left the hospital for other jobs.
The newly-ratified contract includes:
- A base 3 percent annual raise each of the next three years with a new wage scale that will further increase wages for most workers.
- A new annual $500 certification bonus for several job classifications.
- The ability for workers who have exhausted their sick leave to use paid time off when they are too ill to come to work.
- Improved extra pay for working additional shifts and night shifts.
- An average pay increase of 11 percent in the first year for per diem workers
“As a per diem tech on the bargaining team, it’s great that we were able to secure a higher wage scale and shift differentials that will benefit fellow per diems, as well as everyone else,” said Zachary Hodgens, an MRI Tech.
He added that the new contract helps to retain per diems who are critical in helping staff the hospital.
“We also secured language so that full-time folks that go per diem get a raise instead of a pay cut,” Hodgens said. “That’s an issue we had in my department before. Fixing that ensures we are able to keep good techs in our hospital even if they have a change in status.”