The parent company of French Hospital Medical Center and the union representing employees like housekeepers, janitors, licensed vocational nurses and nursing assistants have reached a tentative agreement on wages and benefits.
The sides announced the deal Friday, a development that came after the union had set a three-day strike that was to start Tuesday.
Employees at the more than 30 Dignity Health facilities in California will begin voting to ratify the contract next week. French employees vote on Wednesday. Marian Regional Medical Center workers in Santa Maria, another Dignity hospital, will vote on Tuesday.
According to a fact sheet put out by the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers, their member employees will get proper placement on the wage scale by November 2013, and there will be a 2 percent across-the-board wage hike by next May. Current health and retirement packages will be maintained.
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The agreement is for four years. Under the terms, at the end of the second year, the sides can reopen talks on wages, benefits, retirement plans and funding for staff education.
Dignity Health is the largest not-for-profit hospital operator in California, with 14,000 employees.