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El Camino Hospital Management Undermining Community Patient Care

Original post made by healthcare providers, Old Mountain View, on Jul 20, 2011

July 18, 2011
El Camino Hospital Board of Directors
Attn: John L. Zoglin, Chairman
El Camino Hospital
2500 Grant Road
Mountain View, CA 94040

Dear Chairman Zoglin and Fellow Board Members:
We are writing on behalf of our coworkers, the SEIU-UHW members of El Camino Hospital, to express our deepest concerns over the detour contract negotiations have taken during the last three months.
El Camino is a premier hospital in the Silicon Valley in part because of the 1,200 workers represented by SEIU-UHW who work to ensure excellent care for patients and good jobs in our community. Workers, including respiratory therapists, nursing
assistants, dietary, housekeeping and lab scientists have devoted many years of their service to this hospital.

Members of SEIU-UHW are committed to not only providing the best care and service to the community, but also working collaboratively with hospital management here and with other independent hospitals and major chains in California. El Camino is no exception. Our bargaining team of frontline caregivers comes to the table with the
philosophy that working together works – it ensures happy, healthy employees who focus on patient care and quality services. That has always been our credo at El Camino.

However, the message employees are hearing from management is that their commitment and service is not valued. The dramatic proposals we received from you include severe wage and benefit cuts, and punitive measures that will fundamentally change the relationship between staff and management. For example, for some certified nursing assistants the combined wage cuts and HMO premium cost increases would represent a loss of at least 10 hours of work a month for many employees. That means 10 hours of pay each month will either disappear or get rerouted to healthcare costs.
For pregnant women, the proposal on PTO drastically cuts the amount of time they can spend with their newborns, or care for them after returning to work. In Valerie Rondone's case it would have been six fewer weeks with her infant daughter and no time accumulated in case something came up after maternity leave. Is that the
message we want to send to families?

At the table we are asked for "parity", or equal cuts to benefits for SEIU-UHW represented employees and management staff. But we don't make what managers make. For us, this will mean making choices between buying food or having healthcare for ourselves and our families.

This does not demonstrate value of our
skilled professions. This is not the roadmap to a successful hospital. These proposals would send El Camino Hospital backward and establish the lowest standard for healthcare workers here, across Northern California and among premier hospitals. At the very least, the cuts will lead to recruitment and retention problems down the line and taking away good jobs from our community.
Your proposals as a one-size-fits-all approach will have an adverse and long-term effect on our hospital and the community we serve. Retaining high quality staff is key to continued success; not recognizing that fact will undermine our work to serve this
community.

We are asking the Board to guide hospital management back to the bargaining table with proposals that support and value workers' skilled professions, and help us ensure El Camino continues as a premier healthcare provider.

Our community and our patients rely on the quality care we provide at El Camino Hospital. Help us keep El Camino strong.

Sincerely,
SEIU-UHW El Camino Bargaining Team

Diane Block
Clinical Lab Scientist in the Lab
Cesar Cacho
Nutrition Services at Los Gatos
David Clymer
Surgical Tech II, OR in Los Gatos
Evelia C. Cruz
Admin Support in Mother/Baby
Kevin Fitzpatrick
1st Cook in Nutrition Services
Willie Gilder
CNA (3B) Telemetry
Kary Lynch
Licensed Psychiatric Tech in Behavioral
Health
Evelyn Middleton
Renal Dietician at Evergreen Dialysis
Theresa Orrock
Environmental Services in Los Gatos

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