In December, Dignity Health announced that it was planning on merging with Catholic Health Initiatives.
Local Dignity Health workers reached an agreement with the hospital ahead of that merge to protect their jobs and their health insurance.
15,000 Dignity Health employees approved the five-year contract, almost a month after employees held protests in Bakersfield concerned that the $28 billion merge would affect their positions.
This contract applies to 1,607 workers in Bakersfield, 741 of which are employed at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital and 866 at Mercy Hospitals of Bakersfield.
Workers claimed that they needed to secure strong contracts because of Catholic Health Initiatives' history of undermining its employees.
Dignity Health Issued the following statement about the approval of the new contract:
“Our new contract maintains employer-paid family healthcare and provides rising wages, and that security and peace of mind enables us to focus on caring for our patients,” said Dennis Anderson, a laboratory assistant at Mercy Hospital in Folsom, Calif., which is owned by Dignity Health.
“All frontline caregivers should have strong wages and benefits because of the crucial role we play in delivering quality patient care, and we urge all hospitals to make a greater investment in caregivers, just as Dignity Health is doing with this agreement.”