On Strike in Salinas
June 21st, 2011
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We’re showing management what unity looks like at Salinas Valley Memorial.
Starting at six o’clock this morning, 800 NUHW members at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital walked off the job and onto the picket line. Our message is clear: we’re telling management to start bargaining in good faith and settle a fair contract that keeps our jobs and our benefits intact.
For over a year, SVMH management and members of the hospital’s Board of Directors have been trying to lay off dozens of our co-workers, and to cut benefits for hundreds more. As NUHW members, we’ve fought back at every step.
We’ve exposed management’s misplaced priorities at our hospital. SVMH has paid over $12 million to Wellspring Partners, a scandal-plagued management consulting firm from out of state, and another $5 million in pension and severance benefits to a single employee, the hospital’s former CEO. The hospital’s fiscal mismanagement has made the front page of newspapers from Salinas to Los Angeles, and even prompted the state legislature to authorize a financial audit of the company.
Today, we’re on strike for 24 hours to show management we’re serious about keeping caregivers on the job. It’s healthcare workers like us, not high-priced out-of-state consultants, whom Salinas residents depend on when they get sick.
We’re proud to be on the picket line today, and we’re more united than ever to win a fair contract.
In unity and strength,
Barbara Marquez-Pacheco, CNA
Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital
National Union of Healthcare Workers