NUHW members to picket Orange County’s largest for-profit hospital April 25
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Nearly 600 healthcare workers to hold a one-day informational picket Tuesday outside Fountain Valley Regional Hospital.
FOUNTAIN VALLEY — Nearly one year after unionizing, caregivers represented by the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) will picket Orange County’s largest for-profit hospital Tuesday demanding a contract that provides competitive wages and ends the hospital’s exploitation of its growing part-time and on-call workforce.
Fountain Valley Regional Hospital is one of Tenet Healthcare Corporation’s most profitable facilities, but the hospital chain pays most of its Fountain Valley workers lower wages than other area hospitals.
The informational picket will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday outside the hospital at 17100 Euclid St., Fountain Valley. There will be a noon rally with several speakers including Santa Ana Councilmember Jose Solorio.
Tenet is also demanding the right to outsource jobs and refusing to end its practice of hiring on-call and part time workers to work full-time schedules without giving them the same wages and benefits as full-time employees. Several part-time workers pay nearly twice as much for health coverage as their full-time counterparts even though they are working full-time shifts.
Fountain Valley made a $50.7 million profit last year, according to state records. Yet, over the past two years, 42 percent of new hires have been on-call workers, who receive no health benefits.
NUHW represents nearly 600 caregivers at Fountain Valley, including nursing assistants, respiratory therapists, radiology technicians, surgical technicians, and maintenance workers. They joined the union last year frustrated by Tenet’s refusal to pay competitive wages and treat its employees fairly.
“Many of us have been here for years, and we are dedicated to our work,” said Monique Tu, an ultrasound technician. “We want to remain at this hospital and continue to serve our community. But our wages have not kept pace with the cost of living. Orange County is getting more and more unaffordable for our families. We’re just asking Tenet to be reasonable and treat us with dignity and respect.”
Additional speakers at Tuesday’s noon rally will include: Ada Briceno, Secretary-Treasurer of Unite Here Local 11; Irene Arellano, of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice; Kathy Canlas, of the Orange County Labor Federation; and Carmella Swanson, of the Coalition of Labor Union Women.
The National Union of Healthcare Workers is a member-driven movement for democracy, quality patient care, and a stronger voice in the workplace. NUHW represents 13,000 caregivers at hospitals and nursing homes throughout California. NUHW.org.