Tenet workers authorize info picket for June 16

NewsJune 8, 2021

NUHW members from three Tenet hospitals in Orange County voted overwhelmingly last week to authorize an informational picket, now scheduled for June 16. 

These workers are in negotiations with Tenet Healthcare, fighting for a contract with fair wages and healthcare options they can afford. Tenet Healthcare, one of the nation’s largest for-profit hospital chains, reported a $400 million profit in 2020. Workers allege these profits come at the expense of patient care and the people who have put their health on the line, citing below-average wages, inflated healthcare premiums, and dangerous working conditions.

“We have told Tenet executives over and over what their proposals would mean for us and our families,” said Ron Rosano, an Operating Room Tech at Fountain Valley Regional Medical Center. “It would mean accepting healthcare and wage rates that do not recognize our experience.”

Tenet is one of several large healthcare corporations accused by Congresswomen Katie Porter (D-CA) and Rosa DeLaura (D-CT) of misusing CARES Act Provider Relief Funds to finance anti-competitive mergers and acquisitions. “Because taxpayer funds were misused to profit off the pandemic,” the congresswomen wrote, “the sick lost their lives and health care workers were traumatized.”

Tenet received $2.5 billion from the federal government in CARES Act and other pandemic relief that was intended to protect patients and workers from COVID. But according to the New York Times, Tenet instead rewarded its shareholders and financed mergers and acquisitions, including 45 ambulatory surgery centers in December 2020. Tenet plans to acquire 25 to 40 more centers this year.

“This hospital exists because of us,” said lab tech Connie Montesano. “We will keep fighting to win what we deserve.”