The Monterey County Herald: SVMH unions call for board resignations

NewsMarch 12, 2012

The Monterey County Herald
Herald Staff Report
Posted:  03/09/2012 11:13 PM


Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital’s two largest employee unions called on board members to resign late Thursday after the release of a state audit that broadly criticized the hospital’s business practices.

The National Union of Healthcare Workers, which raised several of the issues addressed in the audit more than a year ago, and the California Nurses Association called for board members to step down.

NUHW spokesman John Borsos said the “scathing audit” provided ample evidence of mismanagement by the board, and said board president Jim Gattis and board member Harry Wardwell should step down immediately.

In a statement, NUHW referred to a “pervasive lack of transparency and numerous conflicts of interest that characterize the hospital’s governing Board of Directors.”

The nurses union called on all hospital board members to resign, blasting “gross mismanagement and an out of control public system which is modeling itself after the worst practices of Wall  Street and rogue actors in the private health care system.”

“This board has shown it no longer deserves the confidence of the public,” CNA co-president DeAnn McEwen said. “Only a newly elected board of directors can bring the community trust and transparency so badly required, one that does not just rubber stamp poor practices by hospital officials. Only then will they demonstrate greater accountability to the public and patients they are supposed to serve, and begin to have a meaningful dialogue with the community about the future of a precious resource, the public hospital.”

Together, the unions represent about 1,400 employees at the hospital.