Shasta Regional Medical Center Healthcare Workers Vote Overwhelmingly to Join Union
Healthcare workers at Shasta Regional Medical Center (SRMC) in Redding, CA voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to join Caregivers and Healthcare Employees Union (CHEU) an affiliate of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU).
In a secret ballot election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board, the SRMC employees voted 267 to 30, with 90 percent in favor of joining CHEU.
CHEU will represent 400 nursing assistants, laboratory technicians, respiratory therapists, orderlies, housekeepers, admitting staff and other hospital employees. Shasta Regional is part of the Prime Healthcare system.
The healthcare workers voted to join CHEU just seven months after 350 registered nurses at SRMC voted to join CNA. Nurses say they look forward to working with healthcare workers to address patient safety issues.
“We are so happy to be part of CHEU/CNA family,” said telemetry certified nursing assistant, Stephanie Somer.
Key issues for the SRMC workers include safe staffing in all departments, a stronger voice in patient care delivery, improved healthcare and secure retirement benefits, and job protections associated with the collective strength of union representation.
“Through collective action, nurses were able to reverse Prime’s changes to our health insurance plan that forced healthcare workers to travel hundreds of miles to receive care. Now, we look forward to the same protections that nurses have when advocating for our patients and ourselves,” said Somer. “We see positive changes at our hospital since the nurses joined CNA. That shows how a union voice protects our community.”
“Shasta Regional’s healthcare workers are vital to the care and treatment of our patients,” says registered nurse, Kelly Hayden, who works in recovery and cardiac rehabilitation. “We share the same concerns about insufficient staffing and equipment, and we will work together to improve the retention rate at Shasta."
The election is a culmination of a four-month campaign by the Shasta Regional healthcare workers. With their election secured, the Shasta healthcare workers
will now elect a team to represent them in negotiations with hospital representatives on a collective bargaining agreement.
In addition to safe staffing, the healthcare workers express a strong desire for a collective voice to assure sufficient medical supplies and equipment for patient care, and to improve salary and benefits to curb the high turnover rate.