NewsCovering Kern County

Actions

Kern Medical workers, Hospital Authority reach tentative deal to avoid strike

Posted at 2:59 PM, Jul 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-25 20:45:23-04

KERN COUNTY, Calif. (KERO) — Healthcare workers at Kern Medical and the Kern County Hospital Authority reached a tentative deal over the weekend, said SEIU Local 521.

The agreement avoids a three-day that was set to start Aug. 8th.

The union, which represented the healthcare workers, says the agreement includes a significant wage increase and expires in June 2025.

The union also says the deal attempts to address some of the causes of staffing challenges affecting Kern Medical.

“It’s no secret Kern Medical has experienced a chronic staffing shortage, and it’s been hard to get workers to stay, '' said Eva Dominguez, MRI Technologist and a member of the SEIU 521 Negotiations team, in a statement.

“Healthcare workers would come here, gain valuable experience, then move on to neighboring hospitals. With this new agreement, we believe we have a better chance of holding onto experienced healthcare workers who live and raise their families here in Kern County.

"Our fight was always about putting Kern Medical in a position to compete for the best workers and providing the best care for all Kern residents.”

The agreement will include automatic raises for all workers under the contract, a one-time bonus for full and part time staff, and additional salary steps for Registered Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Physicians Assistants, and others.

The agreement must still be ratified by hospital workers and approved by the Kern County Hospital Authority Governing Board. The contract ratification vote is set for healthcare workers starting Tuesday, July 26th and ending Thursday, July 28.