Days before they were set to walk a picket line, thousands of nurses in the Los Angeles County health care system reached a tentative labor contract that will avert a strike, their union announced Thursday, May 26.
Nearly 7,000 nurses represented by the Service Employees International Union Local 721 were set to conduct a three-day strike beginning June 1, impacting county Department of Health Services, Department of Public Health and Department of Mental Health facilities.
Exact details of the tentative labor pact were not immediate released, but union officials said it “includes stronger job protections … and locks in competitive compensation.”
“Our L.A. County nurses have made incredible sacrifices on the front line, so we drove a hard bargain,” David Green, SEIU 721 president, said in a statement. “This is why it was so important to us to negotiate not just for better compensation but for a real plan that addresses nurse retention.
“COVID impacted our ranks, which were already being hit hard by years of underfunding for public health care. Now, we’ve got a commitment to address this problem and we*ve got the power of our union to make sure the plan materializes.”
Union members still need to ratify the proposed agreement, with voting expected to begin in early June.