Healthcare Workers Say Tri-City Healthcare District Violated Open Meeting Law; Seek to Reverse Facility’s Closure

[July 24, 2018] OCEANSIDE, Calif.Healthcare workers sent a letter today to the Tri-City Healthcare District, alleging the board of directors violated the open meeting law by failing to discuss the closure of a mental health facility at Tri-City Medical Center in public, and demanding they reverse their decision within 30 days and rescind the layoff notices given to 80 employees.

“The board made this decision behind closed doors because they knew the community would never support reducing access to services,” said Regina Glenn, a mental health worker at Tri-City Medical Center, who is scheduled to be laid off. “Closing this facility will hurt the whole community – patients, workers and their families – and it needs to be stopped.”

The letter cites the board for two violations of the Brown Act, which is designed to allow adequate time for the public to hear and understand an item being considered by a publicly elected entity in California:

  1. The board of directors already reached a decision about the fate of the facility before its June 26 meeting; and
  2. The board of directors’ agenda for the June 26 meeting was misleading and inadequate because it mentioned “suspension of mental health services,” not the permanent closure of two units.

Under the closure plan, the affected 80 workers in the mental health units would be laid off within 60 days. More than 875 workers at Tri-City Medical Center are members of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West, which filed the letter and opposes the closure of the mental health facilities.

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