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Nurses Hospital Strike Avoided

(CNS) – Registered nurses at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood have reached a tentative contract agreement that will avert a planned three-day strike later this month, union officials said Tuesday.

Some 700 nurses had planned to go on strike for 72 hours beginning Sept. 12, citing four months of unsuccessful negotiations. But the union, the United Nurses Association of California/Union of Health Care Professionals, announced an agreement had been reached Tuesday.

Negotiations had centered on staffing levels in light of a larger number of patients at the hospital, according to the UNAC/UHCP. The fate of the nurses’ pension plan, which the union maintained is severely under-funded, was another sticking point.

The medical center has one of the only emergency rooms in South Los Angeles and has noted a significant increase in patients since closure of the emergency room at nearby Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital, according to the union. But those issues were settled, and the union has a tentative contract to send to its members for a ratification vote on Sept. 8, the union announced.