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Hospital Workers: Management Threatens Patient Care

Saturday, September 8, 2007 General News J E 4
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FRESNO, Calif., Sept. 7 Healthcare workers from CommunityMedical Centers delivered a message to CEO Tim Joslin on Thursday: theunion-busting tactics going on at the Fresno hospital facilities are puttingthe quality of treatment offered there at risk.

The workers instead urged Joslin to negotiate a free and fair electionagreement with employees who are interested in forming a union. Workers couldthen make their decision free from harassment and intimidation, and patientcare would not be jeopardized by management pulling caregivers from thehospital floor for meetings filled with anti-union propaganda.

"The kind of behavior we've seen in the last week at Community MedicalCenters is making it significantly harder to provide high-quality care to ourpatients," said Yvette Chavez, a patient care advocate at Community RegionalMedical Center. "We're already understaffed -- we can't afford to spend hoursat a time in meetings that only offer misinformation. That's why we'reproposing a solution everyone can agree with."

A free and fair election agreement would supplement -- not replace --existing federal labor law. The workers' proposal calls for equal access toinformation, a ban on negative campaigning, enforcement by a neutral thirdparty, and a secret election for union representation.

Without such an agreement, CMC would likely continue to spend desperatelyneeded patient-care dollars on expensive anti-union consultants, who are paidthousands of dollars to scare employees away from forming a union.

"Fresno needs and deserves a hospital where workers can come together toadvocate for themselves and their patients," said City Councilmember CynthiaSterling, whose district includes Community Regional. "We're hopeful CommunityMedical Centers will set an example by committing to a free and fair electionagreement. It's important that the workers are able to make this decision forthemselves.

Workers at CMC announced last week their intention to form a union withSEIU United Healthcare Workers-West and win a voice on the job to help improvepatient care. UHW has reached free and fair election agreements with numerousother hospital systems, such as Tenet, Kaiser Permanente, Catholic HealthcareWest, HCA, Daughters of Charity and even Sutter Health.

The 145,000-member SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West is the largesthospital and healthcare union in the western United States and representsevery type of healthcare worker, including nurses, professional, technical andservice classifications. Our mission is to achieve high-quality healthcare forall.

CONTACT: Mason Stockstill

(510) 206-8247

SOURCE SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West
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