West Anaheim Medical Center caregivers vote to join NUHW
ANAHEIM — Caregivers at West Anaheim Medical Center voted decisively Tuesday, June 20 to join the National Union of Healthcare Workers.
Nearly 60 percent of workers elected to form a union despite a fierce anti-union campaign waged by the hospital. Management fired several core union supporters prior to the election, but workers refused to be intimidated.
“We organized our union to help our patients and ourselves,” said Sam Taina, a respiratory therapist at the hospital. “Now we’ll have a voice in patient care and the tools to fight for better wages and benefits.”
The new 125-member unit includes respiratory therapists, radiology techs, ultrasound techs, EKG techs, and licensed vocational nurses.
West Anaheim Medical Center is a 219-bed for-profit hospital operated by Prime Healthcare Services. Workers began organizing last year, frustrated by below-market wages, rising health insurance costs, and management’s indifference to the needs of patients.
“Now that the election is over, we look forward to sitting down with management and negotiating a contract that improves patient care and provides workers with fair wages and better benefits,” NUHW President Sal Rosselli said.
The West Anaheim vote comes on the heels of several NUHW organizing victories over the past year including 419 caregivers at Queen of the Valley Hospital in Napa, 120 at the University of Southern California’s Norris Cancer Hospital, 100 at Keck Medical Center of USC, and more than 850 at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. On June 13, 125 caregivers at Kindred Hospital San Diego voted to join the union.
The National Union of Healthcare Workers represents 13,000 caregivers at hospitals and nursing homes throughout California.