NUHW wins two organizing drives in Northern California

October 27th, 2021

NUHW is continuing to grow with organizing victories this month at the Sutter Psychiatry Center in Sacramento and Seton Medical Center in Daly City.

The more than 150 workers joining NUHW at the Sacramento psychiatric hospital include social workers, case managers and therapists as well as patient support specialists, housekeepers and food service workers. Workers began organizing at the 73-bed facility earlier this year after Sutter ignored their concerns about low pay, understaffing and unsafe working conditions.

“I want those of us who spend so much time learning who our patients are as humans to be a part of their treatment and to be involved in the formation of policies,” said Amanda Jaramillo, a unit secretary at the psychiatric hospital.

At Seton Medical Center, where NUHW already represents more than 500 workers, the hospital owner recognized 34 professionals as part of our union. The new bargaining unit includes physical therapists, occupational therapists, social workers, case managers, dietitians, and speech pathologists. 

The organizing committee succeeded in getting everyone to sign a petition stating their desire to join NUHW.

While management didn’t interfere at Seton, Sutter campaigned hard against the organizing effort. Nonetheless workers stood strong, demonstrating their solidarity by wearing red and donning NUHW swag. The final vote was 96 to 8 in favor of joining NUHW.

Workers are eager to bargain a first contract that will boost staffing, establish a fair pay system with regular wage increases, and ensure consistency and transparency in the facility’s policies.

“If working through a pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that we’re stronger together,” said Evan Marmol, a social worker at the psychiatric hospital. “The path to our goals is through unity in our union.”