[Oct. 19, 2016] POMONA, Calif. – Seven-hundred healthcare workers and their supporters rallied today at Pomona Valley Hospital to push back against hospital officials who workers say have put profits and executive pay above quality, affordable patient care.
“While the CEO and other executives make millions, caregivers are understaffed and overworked, which puts our patients and us at risk,” said Jeanette Castillo, a phlebotomist at Pomona Valley Hospital. “Patients should be safe, and caregivers should know they have the resources to provide the best care. What the hospital is doing is wrong.”
U.S. Rep. Norma Torres (D-Pomona), State Sen. Connie Leyva (D-Chino), State Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez (D-Pomona) and Pomona City Councilmember Debra Martin spoke in support of workers, as did Rusty Hicks, the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.
“I urge Pomona Valley Hospital to honor the democratic vote of its employees and not delay the process further,” said Torres. “This hospital plays such an important role in the community, and it’s critical that employees and administration work together to strengthen patient care.”
Pomona Valley pays its CEO $1.7 million a year, the fifth highest among 67 non-profit hospital CEOs in California, and the facility makes tens of millions of dollars in profits. It pays for these by charging high prices, including nearly $21,000 for an overnight stay, $9,000 a night more than the state average.
Workers are rallying after the hospital repeatedly refused to recognize their January 2016 vote to have a direct voice in improving patient care by joining SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW).
More than 1,100 Pomona Valley Hospital employees are affected by hospital management’s delaying tactics, including licensed vocational nurses, pharmacy technicians, phlebotomists, physical therapy aides, radiology technologists, surgery technicians, ultrasound technologists, radiology support staff, admitting representatives, cooks and food service workers, customer care representatives, janitors and receptionists and secretaries.