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United Healthcare Workers Stand Up For Patients in Statewide Hospital Strike
Date:10/29/2008

Caregivers strike at 10 hospitals owned by Sutter Health and Daughters of Charity

OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Members of SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West (UHW) are on strike for 24 hours today at five Sutter Health facilities, five hospitals owned by Daughters of Charity Health System (DOCHS), and Alliance Clinic, in response to months of unfair labor practices and bad-faith negotiation by hospital management.

At three of the Sutter facilities, nurses who are part of the California Nurses Association (CNA) are on strike in solidarity. At four additional Sutter hospitals, workers held informational pickets for several hours. More than 6,000 caregivers at 15 facilities took part in today's action.

"A good contract is vital for good patient care," said Beverly Griffith, an environmental services worker at Sutter Summit. "Without a voice in staffing levels, we can't make sure patients get the attention they need. My department is in disarray because so much work has been outsourced to people who don't know our patients. When you don't have a stable workforce, patients suffer."

The strike is part of a historic effort by United Healthcare Workers to improve healthcare across the state. For more than a decade, caregivers worked to line up the expiration dates of their contracts so that 75,000 workers in more than 200 facilities could bargain at the same time for a stronger voice. 59,000 caregivers have already won agreements that raise standards for patient care and improve training of staff at more than 60 facilities owned by Kaiser Permanente and Catholic Healthcare West.

"The improvements at Kaiser and Catholic Healthcare West show the gains for patients and workers that are possible when hospitals are willing to work together with their employees," said Sal Rosselli, President of UHW. "It's time for Sutter and Daughters of Charity to stop shutting frontline caregivers out of decisions that affect thei
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SOURCE SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West
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