Stationary Engineers Local 39 On Strike at Sequoia Hospital
Stationary Engineers Local 39 members Jon Baldwin and Michael Rentie picketed Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City October 17
Members of the Stationary Engineers Local 39 rallied at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City October 17 to call on Dignity Health to return to the bargaining table and negotiate a fair and equitable agreement. Local 39 members went on strike October 1 at Dignity Health’s four hospitals—Sequoia Hospital, St. Mary’s Medical Center, St. Francis Hospital, and Dominican Hospital—after rejecting the company’s last, best, and final offer.
Local 39 Business Rep Mark Dong said the union contract expired September 30, affecting the 15 stationary engineers at Sequoia and about 60 members at the four hospitals. Dong said that, “We’re willing to talk but they haven’t made a phone call to us.” He said the union wants a contract in line with the established wages and benefits that are standard among other Bay Area hospitals.
Local 39 represents the men and women who operate and maintain the physical plant systems in the hospitals, including heating, air conditioning, ventilation, plumbing, refrigeration, lighting, gas, electricity, water and medical life support systems. Local 39 member Stewart Hughes, an employee at St. Mary’s in San Francisco who walked the picket line at Sequoia, said the union is fighting for the middle class. He noted that, while the workers have been offered a contract with no pay increase, Dignity’s CEO Lloyd Dean received $4.76 million in compensation in 2010, according to the Institute for Health & Socio-Economic Policy. Dean also received a $2.1 million performance bonus for 2011.
Despite Local 39’s efforts to get Dignity to negotiate a fair contract, the union said the employer has refused to engage in meaningful discussions.