News of the Month — January 2023
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The Sacramento Bee published an op-ed co-written by NUHW consultant Michael Lighty touting a calculator our union helped create that shows Californians how much they’d save under a single-payer Medicare for All healthcare system.
NUHW member Erika Olden, a cardiac sonographer, was featured in a Los Angeles Daily News article about the new contract reached at Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center that will raise wages by an average 40 percent over four years. Becker’s Hospital Review also published a story about the new collective agreement and included NUHW members Jonathan Mexicanos, a respiratory therapist at the hospital.
NUHW was included in stories by the Washington Post, CNN and Seattle Times about how understaffing concerns are at the heart of labor disputes in recent years, which is leading to healthcare workers striking and quitting in droves. The story notes that during the coronavirus pandemic, nurses have been organizing and winning union elections, even as unionization rates in the United States have declined. “I remember in the middle of the pandemic, predicting that once the dust settles, there could be an explosion of new organizing and strikes to accomplish safe staffing levels,” said NUHW President Sal Rosselli. “And that’s what’s happening now.”
KSBW reports that the California Health Facilities Financing Authority has approved Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital’s request for a $3 million loan. Hazel Hawkins previously projected that it would run out of money on February 18. Hospital officials say the state loan and other operational savings efforts have extended the date to mid-March. It also gives the hospital more time to find a partner.
Healthcare ranked last for employee satisfaction on pay across 27 industries, and only half of healthcare workers say they believe they are paid fairly, according to a report from management firm Qualtrics included in a story by Healthcare Dive. The survey also found that healthcare workers had lower scores for employee experience and intent to stay in their roles. In addition, some 38 percent of healthcare workers are at risk of burnout and 39 percent are considering leaving their organization.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual union membership report shows that the number of employees in California that are union members increased to 16.1 percent in 2022 from 15.9 percent the year before (from about 2,468,000 to about 2,617,000), Fox40 reports. The National Labor Relations Board, which tracks individual unionization cases, also registered 369 petitions submitted to unionize in California in 2022, the highest number of cases tracked in the state since 2017.
Modern Healthcare reports that nursing homes have 210,000 fewer workers than before the pandemic, bringing workforce levels to the lowest they have been since 1994, according to a recent study by a trade group representing such facilities. Nursing homes have seen a 13.3% drop in employment since February 2020. Community elder care facilities have seen a 6.5% decrease since the start of the pandemic.