We told CPMC, “We’re ready to fight!”

California Pacific Medical CenterOctober 26, 2012

When Sutter/CPMC came to 750 NUHW members across the bargaining table and said they wanted us to agree to cut our vacation days, sick time, health benefits and to make it harder for casual workers to become classified as benefitted employees, we responded in no uncertain terms.

We said, “We’ll see you on the picket line!

Yesterday at our info picket we told all of San Francisco that NUHW healthcare workers at California Pacific Medical Center are united to win a fair contract and to hold our employer accountable to our community.

Our hospital, Sutter/CPMC, made $243 million in profits in 2011. It seems those profits have gone to management’s head.

What reason at all could Sutter Health have to ask healthcare workers to reverse benefits and workplace standards that we have enjoyed for decades and fought so hard to win?

And why hasn’t Sutter/CPMC agreed to a fair and equitable plan to rebuild our hospital that improves charitable care, provides good jobs in our community, protects St. Luke’s Hospital and provides reasonable protections around the traffic, parking and housing issues that the “mega hospital” construction will inevitably create?

We have an answer to those questions and more. Our answer involves a strong and vibrant union in our workplace. Our union is willing to fight back and can hold the boss accountable to workers and to patients.

We know we can win. Just this week nearly 50 of our NUHW union sisters and brothers at San Francisco Nursing Center won a two and one-half year contract that provided for improvements in wages and health benefits and fought back takeaways on sick days and holidays that SEIU-UHW had already agreed to with the same employer at other SF Bay Area nursing homes. 

On our picket line, we chanted, “We are the union, the mighty, mighty union!” 

Our union is growing in power, far and wide. 

We are NUHW.

Helen York-Jones, Cashier, California Pacific Medical Center
National Union of Healthcare Workers