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Children’s Hospital RNs, Caregivers Join Together to Protest Drastic Cuts in Healthcare Tuesday

Press Release, 7/1/13

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Management’s hard line stance is an all out attack on workplace and patient advocacy rights
 
OAKLAND- Children's Hospital and Research Center registered nurses and caregivers will support their coworkers, represented by the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW), in an informational picket Tuesday. Key issues prompting the protest include severe cuts in healthcare for workers and their families, maintaining the rights of all unions to support one another in contract negotiations, and opposition to a "management’s rights” clause which will significantly decrease workers' collective rights and voice in advocating for safe patient care.
 
NUHW, who has been in negotiations with Children’s Hospital Oakland (CHO) since November, represents 450 service and technical workers. The workers voted to oust the Service Employees International Union/United Healthcare Workers Union (SEIU-UHW) in May 2012. Caregiver and Healthcare Employees Union, an affiliate of CNA, will also join the protest.


What:                   Informational Picket
When:                  Tuesday July 2, 2013—11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Where:                 Children's Hospital and Research Center
                            747 52nd St, Oakland, CA 94609

 
“RNs know we cannot provide quality patient care without working closely with other hospital staff," said Martha Kuhl, an RN and CNA/NNU board member who works in the cancer unit at the hospital. “That is why we have decided to join together to inform the public of the attacks by hospital management and how they seriously undermine worker rights to stand up for patients. Management's demands will not only jeopardize patients but will harm many dedicated workers as well.”
 
"For a hospital to slash healthcare benefits to its healthcare workers is just plain wrong,” said Joseph Robinson, a CHEU board member. “What affects our NUHW coworkers affects CHEU. What affects CNA RNs will affect CHEU.  All of our struggles our intertwined. We all need to rise together.”
 
Healthcare Reductions
NUHW is fighting to roll back the reductions in health benefits SEIU-UHW gave away in their 2009 contract.  CHO management has added additional takeaways, including the elimination of an Anthem health plan choice, and managements’ ability to change the healthcare plan, including coverage levels, co-payments, and benefits at any time, without negotiations.
 
Reducing workplace rights
Hospital officials have proposed what is called a "management’s rights" clause, which is language allowing administration to change most of the terms of the contract if it is necessary for operational “efficiency” in their view. In other words, despite negotiated protections, such as safe staffing, seniority scheduling, and the right to vacations, management can ignore those protections whenever they want.
 
Over the past two years, CHO has posted strong profit gains, making $37.5 million in 2011 and $18.5 million in 2011 as reported in their annual and quarterly OSHPD filings.

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