San Franciscans for Healthcare, Housing, Jobs, and Justice Pronounce Sutter/CPMC’s Special Deal “Bad for San Francisco”

NewsMarch 29, 2012

Broad-based coalition finds proposed development agreement protects Sutter/CPMC’s profits, but fails to meet the City’s needs for healthcare and jobs, or to address negative impacts on housing and traffic

March 28, 2012 – Contact Leighton Woodhouse: (213) 948-3545

SAN FRANCISCO – This morning, on the steps of City Hall, dozens of healthcare and housing advocates, union members and neighborhood representatives belonging to the citywide coalition San Franciscans for Healthcare, Housing, Jobs, and Justice rallied to critique the proposed development agreement between the City and County of San Francisco and Sutter/CPMC, and to debunk misleading claims by hospital executives and the Mayor’s office on behalf of the deal.

In a prepared statement, the coalition declared:

“…the proposed development agreement as we understand it is a special deal that is good for Sutter/CPMC, but bad for San Francisco –– a deal that falls far short of the Mayor’s original ‘asks’; that relieves Sutter/CPMC of responsibilities met by other private non-profit hospitals; that does not provide the healthcare and jobs City residents need; that fails to address the affordable housing, traffic, and neighborhood impacts the project will produce; and that leaves City taxpayers to foot the bill for the project’s failures in each and every one of these areas.”

Emily Lee, Lead Organizer with the Chinese Progressive Association, addressed the shortcomings of the proposed agreement’s healthcare provisions:

“Under this proposal, Sutter/CPMC will continue failing to provide its fair share of charity care, Healthy San Francisco and Medi-Cal services, and will continue shifting tens of millions of dollars in costs every year to San Francisco taxpayers. Meanwhile, St. Luke’s will be shrunk to one-third its current size and will face significant further service closures at Sutter/CPMC’s discretion. These conditions are clearly insufficient to protect San Francisco’s healthcare.”

Speaking to the proposal’s jobs provisions, Sal Rosselli, President of the National Union of Healthcare Workers, said:

“Sutter/CPMC’s refusal to guarantee the jobs, wages, and benefits of its permanent employees who are facing redeployment will put thousands of San Franciscans at economic risk, the vast majority of them women, people of color, and recent immigrants. Equally bad, Sutter/CPMC will commit to only 40 local hires for permanent positions each year over a five-year period –– less than 5% of the permanent jobs it claims the project will ultimately create. This number is shockingly low, sets a terrible precedent for future development agreements, and demonstrates the badly mistaken approach adopted by the Office of Economic and Workforce Development.”

Longtime affordable housing leader Calvin Welch of the Council of Community Housing Organizations explained the multi-million dollar shortfall in Sutter/CPMC’s payments to offset the proposed development’s impact on affordable housing demand:

“Sutter/CPMC’s special deal violates the core principle that developers must ‘meet the housing demand they generate, particularly the need for affordable housing for lower income workers.’ In fact, Sutter/CPMC will pay to the City less than half the sum needed to offset the affordable housing demand its project will create, shortchanging the Mayor’s original request by almost $40 million, while diverting approximately $25 million to employee down payment assistance that will do absolutely nothing to ease San Francisco’s increasingly severe affordable housing shortage.”

Marlayne Morgan of the Cathedral Hill Neighbors Association and San Francisco Neighborhood Network  criticized the plan’s failure to properly analyze and mitigate the traffic and transit problems it would produce:

“By failing to analyze and address critical concerns regarding traffic congestion, public transit, parking, pedestrian safety, bicycle safety, and neighborhood impacts arising from the predicted 28,000 trips every day to and from the proposed Cathedral Hill Hospital, the deal sets the stage for a gridlock nightmare and serious threats to emergency services if the hospital is built as intended at Geary and Van Ness, one of the busiest traffic and transit intersections in San Francisco.”

Steve Woo of the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation decried the deal’s impact on City taxpayers:

“City taxpayers will pay for the charity care, Medi-Cal, and Healthy San Francisco services Sutter/CPMC fails to provide. City taxpayers will pay to cover the affordable housing costs Sutter/CPMC fails to offset. City taxpayers will pay to address the traffic congestion, public transit, pedestrian safety, bicycle safety and neighborhood impacts Sutter/CPMC fails to analyze or to mitigate. City taxpayers will also continue paying the exorbitant prices Sutter/CPMC charges health insurance plans serving City employees and retirees, as the special deal does not limit price gouging, but only the hospital’s ability to recoup the development agreement’s costs.”

In closing, Pilar Schiavo of the California Nurses Association said:

“Sutter/CPMC’s special deal is bad for San Francisco and should not be approved by the Board of Supervisors without amendments to address its deficiencies in each of the areas we have identified. In the weeks ahead, we will be mobilizing to demand improvements and to help Supervisors craft an amended agreement that ensures Sutter/CPMC is rebuilt the right way.”