Workers at three Bakersfield hospitals voted this week to join the SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West labor union.

Monday’s vote puts 64 clinical lab scientists at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital, Mercy Hospital Downtown and Mercy Hospital Southwest — all owned by San Francisco-based Dignity Health — under the umbrella of a union with more than 85,000 members across the western United States.

Vacancies in Bakersfield’s overall office market became a bit more rare during the first three months of this year, even as some of the city’s best work spaces suffered a declining occupancy rate, according to a new report.

The report by Cushman & Wakefield | Pacific Commercial Realty Advisors says the overall market improved from an 8.3 percent vacancy rate at the end of 2015’s fourth quarter to 8.1 percent in this year’s first quarter.

Meanwhile, Class A office space, the city’s most desirable offices, went from 10 percent vacancy to 10.5 percent, the brokerage reported. It said asking rents for such space held almost unchanged at $1.77 per square feet.

The city’s medical office market tightened, with overall vacancies going from 10 percent at the end of last year to 9 percent in the first quarter, Cushman & Wakefield’s report says. Asking rents improved slightly to $1.79 per square foot from $1.78 in the fourth quarter.

An upcoming event at Mercy Hospital Downtown will highlight a local internship program available to people with disabilities.

Project SEARCH, offered by PathPoint of Kern County, will be the subject of an open house from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the hospital, 2215 Truxtun Ave.

The program is a year-long, competitively awarded internship giving people with disabilities the opportunity to gain work experience and serve on hospital rotations. It also includes career development classes.

PathPoint is having its own open house from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday at 4701 Stockdale Highway.

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