News of the Week: NUHW blasts Sutter over skyrocketing health costs

NewsMay 10, 2018

Each week we share articles on subjects that are important to NUHW and its members. Here are several must-read stories over the past seven days:

A state audit —  triggered by NUHW’s research into Brius Healthcare — found that lax state oversight of nursing homes is contributing to continued poor care for patients. Our report is linked in this story by California Healthline, which was picked up by the Los Angeles Times. Outlets that covered the audit included the San Jose Mercury News, Los Angeles Daily News, McKnights, the Eureka Times-Standard, North Coast Journal, and Marin Independent Journal.

The San Francisco Examiner ran a commentary by NUHW President Sal Rosselli about how Attorney General Xavier Becerra is suing to stop Sutter from using its near-monopolistic power in Northern California to force patients to pay far more for most treatments than patients in Southern California — and elsewhere across the country.

Tens of thousands of health care workers went on strike this week across the University of California system, the Los Angeles Times reported. While UC’s six medical centers will be affected the most, every part of the 10-campus system will feel the impact, with workers at student health centers and in some other parts of the campuses also walking out. The three-day walkout was an effort by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299 to persuade the university system to increase salaries and address racial and gender pay inequalities.

Around 10 million U.S. jobs ― especially service jobs such as cooks, cleaners and janitors ― are at high risk of automation within the next five to 10 years alone, according to an October 2017 analysis. The Huffington Post reports that these are jobs that have traditionally benefited from strong union support, and while unions are stepping up to address this challenge, in some places this is becoming an increasingly difficult task, especially in light of declining membership and influence.

At their state convention last weekend, California Republicans failed to agree on a candidate for governor to endorse, the Los Angeles Times reports. This could make it somewhat harder for either of the two leading Republicans  — Businessman John Cox and Assemblyman Travis Allen — to make it the runoff election in November. If either Republican does make it to the two-person runoff, Gavin Newsom would be almost assured of victory. If Newsom faces a fellow Democrat in the runoff, it could be a more competitive race.

Thousands of Arizona teachers who walked out of schools a week ago to protest low pay and slumping education funding are slated to head back to class Friday, marking an end to one of the biggest teacher protests in a year that has seen a spate of job actions. The state is giving teachers a 20 percent raise by 2020 and investing an additional $138 million in schools — an outcome that only partially met educators’ demands, according to the Washington Post.