Mental health clinicians at Emeryville nonprofit join NUHW

NewsMay 3, 2019

NUHW further cemented itself as the nation’s leading mental health union Wednesday, when workers at the Ann Martin Center in Emeryville voted overwhelmingly to join.

The center is a nonprofit that has an outpatient clinic, offers several programs and contracts with the Oakland Unified School District to provide mental health counseling in city schools.

Workers contacted NUHW earlier this year to discuss how forming a union could help them improve working conditions, provide better patient care, establish transparent policies and win wages to reduce staff turnover and help workers afford to live in the Bay Area.

“I am so excited that Ann Martin Center clinicians have decided to join NUHW so that we can make steps to improve working conditions and ultimately improve client care,” said Amelia McGowan, a social worker at the center.

McGowan added:

As a social worker, I am passionate about values such as advocacy, integrity, and the dignity and worth of individuals, and I believe that joining NUHW will help us better actualize these values in our workplace and community. Our priorities moving forward are making sure that clinicians are receiving living wages, ensuring that there are clear and effective policies in place related to disciplinary action and billing expectations, and establishing and preserving benefits that will promote retention and a sustainable work environment. With these practices in place, we will be better equipped to provide quality and consistent care to our clients and their families.

Clinicians at the center join more than 4,000 mental health clinicians who are NUHW members. Over the past two years, NUHW, has organized mental health workers at Kaiser Hawaii, Dominican Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital, Children’s Hospital Oakland, Elk Grove Unified School District and Richmond Area Multi-Services, Inc.