Nearly 500 workers join NUHW in October
October has been a “scary good” month for NUHW as nearly 500 healthcare workers, most of whom work at a major Providence hospital in Los Angeles voted to join our union.
Workers at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro began organizing with NUHW shortly after union members at Providence Cedars Sinai Tarzana Medical Center won a contract earlier this year that will increase wages by an average of 40 percent. The newly unionized workforce at Providence San Pedro will consist of approximately 470 workers, including nursing assistants, respiratory therapists, housekeepers, licensed vocational nurses and medical technicians.
“We’ve seen what a union can do to improve a hospital for workers and patients,” said Dominga Pineda, a certified nursing assistant at Providence San Pedro. “There’s a big movement happening for workers to have more power on the job, and we’re excited to start advocating for safe staffing and fair wages that will keep dedicated caregivers serving our community.”
With the organizing victory at San Pedro, a 231-bed hospital near Long Beach, NUHW now represents approximately 3,000 Providence workers at seven hospitals and hospices in Northern California and two hospitals in Southern California. Across California, NUHW has grown from more than 15,000 workers in 2019 to more than 17,500 today.
“We’ve seen an explosion of new organizing since the pandemic when healthcare workers learned that they couldn’t trust hospital chains like Providence to safely-staff their hospitals,” NUHW President Sal Rosselli said. “This is a victory in the fight to make one of the biggest hospital chains in California respect its workers and provide the best possible care to patients.”
Northern California victories
NUHW also added workers at Marin General Hospital, where nine outpatient technicians voted to join the union.
These caregivers had a longstanding interest in joining their colleagues in radiology as NUHW members, but management had previously rejected their request for voluntary recognition on the claim that they shouldn’t be part of the larger unit.
But the workers, who include technicians that operate X-rays, MRI machines and CT scans at an outpatient facility, would not be denied. They voted to join NUHW as their own unit that will bargain a contract separately from other NUHW members at the hospital.
At Sutter Home Care Hospice in San Mateo, three liaisons and volunteer coordinators won their election to join NUHW after they were initially prevented from participating in the initial union vote last year when the employer challenged their inclusion in the bargaining unit.
Over the past two years, NUHW has organized more than 400 Sutter Care at Home workers, who are fighting for a first contract that will significantly improve wages and patient care.