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Hospital Workers: Management Threatens Patient Care
Date:9/7/2007

Fair Election Agreement Would Establish Rules for Union Process

FRESNO, Calif., Sept. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Healthcare workers from Community Medical Centers delivered a message to CEO Tim Joslin on Thursday: the union-busting tactics going on at the Fresno hospital facilities are putting the quality of treatment offered there at risk.

The workers instead urged Joslin to negotiate a free and fair election agreement with employees who are interested in forming a union. Workers could then make their decision free from harassment and intimidation, and patient care would not be jeopardized by management pulling caregivers from the hospital floor for meetings filled with anti-union propaganda.

"The kind of behavior we've seen in the last week at Community Medical Centers is making it significantly harder to provide high-quality care to our patients," said Yvette Chavez, a patient care advocate at Community Regional Medical Center. "We're already understaffed -- we can't afford to spend hours at a time in meetings that only offer misinformation. That's why we're proposing 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 to information, a ban on negative campaigning, enforcement by a neutral third party, and a secret election for union representation.

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

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

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

The 145,000-member SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West is the largest hospital and healthcare union in the western United States and represents every type of healthcare worker, including nurses, professional, technical and service classifications. Our mission is to achieve high-quality healthcare for all.

CONTACT: Mason Stockstill

(510) 206-8247


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SOURCE SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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