Hospital workers fight to save jobs and services
UHW workers picketed California Pacific Medical Center on Wednesday
to protest proposed layoffs and service cuts.
Photos by John
September 22, 2007
Members of the United Healthcare Workers West (UHW) voiced loud
opposition Wednesday against California Pacific Medical Center's
(CPMC) plan to cut 20 hospital jobs.
An informational picket was held to protest the layoffs.
According to the UHW, the CPMC layoffs would include the elimination
of fifteen housekeeper positions at all four hospital campuses.
The plan calls for limiting cleaning services to medical office
UHW workers said the service cuts will negatively impact patient
care because housekeepers clean the hospital rooms before patients
can be admitted to receive health care.
"We don't get our beds cleaned," said UHW member Emily
A psychiatric technician at CPMC, Stone said CPMC is already
understaffed in housekeeping positions.
"We have three beds that needed cleaning last week. It took
us just forever to get a housekeeper to clean the beds so we could
admit the three admissions we had coming."
Emily Stone with Assemblymember Mark Leno.
"When I worked the other day, they pulled someone from the
emergency room to clean our beds. That was an imposition on that
worker because she was doing extra work that she shouldn't have
had to do," Stone added.
Profits for CPMC in 2006 reached over $150 million, according
to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD).
Sutter Health, CPMC's parent company, enjoyed $587 million in
profits in the same year.
"What are they doing with all that money if they're cutting
jobs," asked State Assemblyman Mark Leno. "We want to
Leno said CPMC is a supposed to be non-profit hospital.
Assemblymember Mark Leno
UHW workers see the cuts as part of a larger plan by Sutter to
consolidate the city's hospital services towards a $1.7 billion
proposal to build a new hospital at the site of the Cathedral
Hill Hotel on Van Ness Ave.
They cited downgrading of acute care services at CPMC's St. Luke's
campus in the Mission district. The proposed cuts will impact
neonatal services and force the closure of St. Luke's inpatient
St. Luke's Hospital had been a longtime provider of charitable
care services to low-income patients in the southeast area of
San Francisco, including the Mission, Potrero and Excelsior districts.
But things have drastically changed since St. Luke's merger with
UHW Administrative Vice President John Borsos said that CPMC
provides the lowest level of charitable care services to low-income
patients in San Francisco.
"It's a tragedy what their doing to this city," Borsos
said. "Just as importantly, what they're doing to the workers
here who have dedicated their lives to taking care of patients
they're making their cuts on the backs of the workers."
John Borsos, UHW Administrative Vice President
Senator Carol Migden, Supervisor Tom Ammiano and San Francisco
Labor Council Executive Director Tim Paulson attended the picket
in support of the protest action.