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Healthcare Workers, Community Activists Call for Fair Election Agreement at St. Joseph Health System
Date:11/3/2007

Workers Seek Ground Rules for Union Election, Note Hospital System Failing

to Live Up to its Own Values

SANTA ROSA, Calif., Nov. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Hundreds of community leaders, elected officials and other healthcare activists joined hospital workers from the St. Joseph Health System in a march and rally outside Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital on Saturday, where they called for the health system's leadership to reach a fair union election agreement with workers.

For months, workers throughout the statewide hospital chain have been organizing with the goal of forming a union with SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West. By forming a union, caregivers have a voice on the job to better advocate for themselves and their patients.

Unfortunately, caregivers have been met with an aggressive anti-union campaign that includes mandatory, anti-union meetings during work time and spending scarce patient-care dollars fighting their own employees. The management campaign has also included illegal threats, surveillance and discrimination of pro-union workers.

"All we're after is the ability to stand up and speak out to improve patient care at these hospitals," said Rosa Santos, an OR tech at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. "With a union, we'll have that voice. But St. Joseph management has done so much to deprive us of our rights that we need fair ground rules before we can have a union election."

The event brought together hundreds of workers and healthcare advocates from across California to deliver the message of fairness and justice to the leadership of St. Joseph, which operates two North Bay hospitals (Santa Rosa Memorial and Petaluma Valley) and seven more across the state. Workers believe the hospital chain's anti-union activities go against its stated core values of Justice, Dignity, Excellence and Service.

Among those attending to support the workers were Santa Rosa City Council member Susan Gorin; Nancy Dobbs of
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SOURCE SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West
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