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SEIU UHW to Fight Sutter CPMC Layoffs
Date:4/22/2009

Management announcement to cut 200 workers could hurt patient care

SAN FRANCISCO, April 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- SEIU UHW members at the four Sutter CPMC hospitals are fighting back against management's plan to cut 200 jobs and put patient care at increased risk. Sutter announced the layoffs as well as pay and hiring freezes in a memo on April 10 to all employees.

Sutter management points to $30 million in necessary savings to remain financially stable. This is in addition to the $30 million trimmed earlier this year in part through reduction of staff hours. Meanwhile, Sutter reports robust financials. Pat Fry, Sutter CEO said, "Sutter Health enjoyed continued strong operating results in 2008," in the Sacramento Business Journal, also on April 10.

"We want to assure the public that we will pursue every avenue possible to protect these jobs and vital patient services," said Dave Regan, Trustee of SEIU UHW, which represents roughly 5,000 workers at Sutter. "We are holding Sutter management accountable and will make sure that they are not using the economy as an excuse to cut staff and harm patient care."

  • Sutter's endowment was $3.3 billion in 2007 and, despite dips in investments, remained at roughly $3 billion at the end of 2008.
  • However operating revenue grew from $7.65 billion in 2007 to $8.28 billion in 2008, demonstrating that Sutter Health has continued to grow even during the economic downturn.
  • While a 'non-profit' legally, for the last five years Sutter has reported operating income exceeding $428 million each year.

"People across California are losing their jobs, and the health care industry is not immune," said Marcelino Robies, a 28-year environmental services employee at Sutter's CPMC in San Francisco. "However, if Sutter cuts 200 workers, the quality of the service at the hospital will go down. That is why we need to unite as health care workers and with the community to fight for our families and patients."

SEIU UHW members expect and demand that Sutter CPMC negotiate over any decision to cut jobs and risk quality patient care: "We will be holding management accountable for every lost job and every lost hour of work time, ensuring that Sutter pursue every avenue possible before making those cuts," Regan said.

SEIU UHW represents more than 150,000 healthcare workers across California and our members provide first-rate care to millions of Californians. We are a proud affiliate of the 2 million+ member Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Learn more at www.seiu-uhw.org.


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SOURCE SEIU UHW
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