Update: 4:02 p.m.

The Service Employees International Union 521 (SEIU) is postponing the three-day strike that was scheduled to start July 26, according to a news release from Kern Medical.

Kern Medical says, this is to allow its members to vote on Kern Medical’s Last, Best and Final Offer.

Kern Medical is encouraging SEIU 521 to accept the Last, Best and Final Offer to give them wage increases they deserve, according to the hospital.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Kern County Hospital Authority (KCHA) are proposing a $15 million contract to outsource workers at Wednesday’s Board of Governors meeting.

This proposal comes ahead of a planned three-day strike from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) scheduled to start July 26 and just after a newly-filed lawsuit accusing Kern Medical of violating public disclosure laws.

The proposal requests the Board of Governors to “retroactively approve the Workforce Disruption Staffing Agreement (“Agreement”) with Aya Healthcare Inc. to provide emergency assistance with crisis staffing in response to anticipated workforce disruption due to a labor disputes, strikes or other work stoppages for a one (1) year term beginning July 1, 2022 terminating on June 30, 2023,” according to Kern Medical’s meeting agenda.

Kern Medical workers represented by SEIU said KCHA should collaborate with the union instead of outsourcing workers.

“It’s in management’s best interest to reach an agreement that addresses the staffing crisis and ends the unfair labor practices,” said Eva Dominguez, Lead MRI Technologist at Kern Medical, SEIU 521 Member. “Instead, Kern Medical management is seeking approval for a $15 million contract to hire temporary workers to fight their own employees who have brought to light the alarming staffing levels impacting patient care.”

Another worker accused the proposed Agreement of being a way to silence the union workers and of being “both disconcerting and dangerous.”

“The Hospital Authority is choosing to disregard the real investments needed to retain workers and keep patients safe and alive,” said Robin Heber, Operating Room Surgical Technologist, SEIU 521 Member.

Read the KCHA’s full proposal here.