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Caregivers Protest Statewide to Stop Daughters of Charity From Silencing the Voice of Caregivers & Threatening Patient Care
Date:7/2/2008

LOS ANGELES, July 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Healthcare workers of the Daughters of Charity Health System (DOCHS) held demonstrations today - at five separate locations - in a statewide protest of the health system's attempt to undermine important patient care protections. The simultaneous demonstration was organized by caregivers at the following DOCHS hospitals: St. Francis Medical Center near Los Angeles, Seton Medical Center in Daly City, Seton Coastside in Moss Beach, St. Louise Regional Hospital in Gilroy, and O'Connor Hospital in San Jose.

"Today, healthcare workers took action across the state to fight for our patients' right to quality and reliable medical care," said Tom Hernandez a Monitor Tech at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood. "Over the past few years, my hospital has experienced a dramatic increase in the number of emergency room patients. The last thing we need is the removal of proven patient care safeguards."

More than 2,400 caregivers - represented by SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West (UHW) - have been in negotiations with the health system since March. They are proposing improvements to help ensure quality patient care and increase the ability to recruit and retain healthcare professionals. However, administrators are threatening to eliminate key existing contract provisions which allow front-line caregivers a real voice in the delivery of patient care and treatment.

"The foremost responsibility of my job is to provide the best possible treatment to my patients," said Suad Husary a Respiratory Care Practitioner at Seton Medical Center in Daly City. "All we're asking is that Daughters of Charity agree to our common-sense contract improvements that will tremendously benefit patients, employees, and the community."

The negotiations are part of UHW's historic 2008 campaign that aligned the expiration of more than 100 contracts that cover over 100,000 California hospital, nursing home, and homecare workers. Employees of DOCHS believe coordinating bargaining efforts with thousands of other caregivers throughout the healthcare industry provides additional strength in their effort to improve patient care standards at the hospital chain.

With more than 150,000 members, SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West is the fastest-growing healthcare union in the United States. We represent healthcare workers in all job classifications and all healthcare settings, including hospitals, homecare, nursing homes and clinics. Our mission is to achieve high-quality healthcare for all.

CONTACT: Blinker Wood

CELL PHONE: (323) 434-5733

EMAIL: bwood@seiu-uhw.org


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SOURCE SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West
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