Up to 350 registered nurses at 293-bed St. Vincent Medical Center, Los Angeles, began a four-day walkout yesterday, the same day healthcare workers at another area hospital announced a three-year contract following months of negotiations. The walkout at St. Vincent comes after a meeting between union members and a federal mediator last week failed to result in an agreement. The picketing nurses have been pushing for salary and benefit increases, especially for senior staff members with 20 years of service or more. The hospital said it has launched contingency staffing plans. Meanwhile, nurses and other healthcare workers at 409-bed Queen of Angels-Hollywood (Calif.) Presbyterian Medical Center celebrated a contract with parent company Tenet Healthcare Corp. The agreement will raise salaries 5% in the first year and 3% in the second and third years, reduce employees' out-of-pocket costs for healthcare and include nurses on committees that make staffing and patient-care decisions. -- by Laura B. Benko
L.A. hospital's nurses strike after mediation fails
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