Workers at 30 HCA Healthcare hospitals in a number of states picketed on Friday, advocating for progress in contract negotiations and better high quality affected person care.
The day of motion, carried out by SEIU Healthcare members, marked the expiration of a union contract protecting 3,000 HCA staff in California. Contracts for an additional 19,000 staff at HCA-owned hospitals in Florida, Nevada, Texas and Kansas are set to run out by September.
At HCA’s Riverside Community Hospital in southern California, hundreds of clinicians gathered, demanding the system deal with problems with low staffing and affected person security and claiming HCA has not made vital headway in negotiating a brand new settlement that advantages workers and sufferers.
“Today’s day of action is all about safe staffing and patient care,” stated Raymond Valdivia, a lab assistant and phlebotomist on the hospital in Riverside, California and a SEIU union chief. “We’re out here so HCA and Riverside Community Hospital listen to our requests when it comes to staffing ratios, better supplies and equipment that we need so we can take care of patients.”
Increasing staffing levels to fulfill hospital wants can be the primary focus of contract negotiations, he stated.
Even with the nationwide nursing scarcity, the well being system at all times strives to achieve agreements which are in the very best curiosity of caregivers and sufferers, and has compensation and staffing ranges in step with laws and practices at different group hospitals, HCA stated in an e mail assertion.
“The SEIU has a history of attacking and bullying community hospitals with misleading information and staged events,” HCA stated. “We expect a variety of deceptive labor union tactics like this as we continue our regular cycle of bargaining with the labor union.”
The push for enchancment from union members comes amid allegations of affected person issues of safety and potential Medicare fraud on the well being system.
The Health and Human Services Department is reviewing a letter from U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) and the SEIU that claimed HCA forces its medical doctors to fulfill unofficial quotas for the variety of sufferers admitted to the hospital.
In March, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) wrote a letter to the CEO of HCA Florida Bayonet Point Hospital in Hudson, Florida, asking the power’s management to deal with stories of unsanitary and unsafe practices.