CHW Reaches Tentative Agreement with SEIU

Tentative Agreement Covers 14,000 Employees

San Francisco, CA - October 14, 2008 - Catholic Healthcare West (CHW), the largest not-for-profit hospital system in California, and the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) confirmed they have reached a tentative agreement on a contract covering employees at more than 30 CHW facilities throughout California. The four-year agreement covers approximately 14,000 employees at CHW hospitals from Mt. Shasta to Bakersfield.

"Catholic Healthcare West is delighted to have reached terms on a strong contract after so many months of negotiations," said Ernie Urquhart, senior vice president/chief human resources officer. "We believe this contract, if approved, will do an excellent job of balancing the needs of our employees and our organization. In the long term, the contract will strengthen CHW by helping us retain and recruit the skilled employees who provide the excellent care our patients and communities desire and deserve from us."

The tentative agreement includes wage increases of 24 percent over the life of the contract. Also included in the contract are provisions for increased job security for covered employees, greater allowances for paid continuing education time, and continuing employer contributions to an education and retraining fund. The SEIU-UHW bargaining team will unanimously recommend that CHW's covered employees approve the agreement. The contract becomes effective upon ratification by the SEIU-UHW membership at CHW facilities across California.