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Union representing 7,300 Riverside County workers plans to strike

By in Press Enterprise on August 29, 2017

By Jeff Horseman Hospital employees say this type of weapon can be found on patients at the county facility.

A union representing Riverside County employees is issuing a notice to strike to county supervisors today, Aug. 29.

Members of Service Employees International Union Local 721 plan to strike at 12:01 a.m. Sept. 6, union spokesman Mike Long said.

Previously: Riverside County, unions at odds in talks

The union, which represents about 7,300 employees, has been engaged in talks with the county over a new labor contract.

SEIU says it has filed 19 labor law violation charges against the county, including harassment of hospital staff learning self-defense during their break.

The strike notice was announced at rally this morning in front of the Riverside County headquarters in Riverside meant to bring attention to workers’ safety at the county hospital. A cheer went up when SEIU Chief of Staff Gilda Valdez announced the strike notice.

The rally featured a nurse who said she was assaulted on duty; the union says that the county has allowed unsafe hospital conditions to persist.

In January, the union filed a grievance following a December 2016 attack in which a mental health professional was accosted by a person wielding a syringe of yellow liquid in the parking lot of a county-run mental health clinic in Hemet.

The county responded that it is committed to the safety of workers and the public.

Teri Lopez, an emergency room nurse at Riverside University Health System - Medical Center in Moreno Valley, describes being assaulted by a patient at a Service Employees International Union Local 721 rally outside Riverside County headquarters in Riverside on Tuesday, Aug. 29. Photo by Jeff Horseman, The Press-Enterprise/SCNGTeri Lopez, an emergency room nurse at Riverside University Health System – Medical Center in Moreno Valley, describes being assaulted by a patient at a Service Employees […]    

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