For Immediate Release: Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Contact: Roshin Mathew, 213-309-0314, Elizabeth Brennan, 213-999-2164
Long Beach, California – Nearly 200 workers seeking to improve staffing and patient care at Telecare La Casa Psychiatric Health Facility in Long Beach voted to form a union with Service Employees International Union, United Healthcare Workers – West (SEIU-UHW) today, February 8.
“We choose to be here and do this work. We take pride in our position in the psychiatric field,” said Grace Shin, a licensed vocational nurse at Telecare La Casa. “It’s time for increased safety conditions, job security and mutual respect between management and care providers at La Casa. That’s why we voted to form a union.”
Workers have been suffering from safety concerns at Telecare. One Telecare La Casa employee reported that a patient hit him in the face and gave the employee a contusion. Another employee reported to Telecare La Casa management that a patient has been assaulting staff and other patients, but management ignored his reports.
Workers plan to work together in SEIU-UHW to make key improvements to care and safety. The final vote was 98 for SEIU-UHW, 59 for no union.
By forming a union, La Casa workers are the third facility in the Telecare hospital chain to join SEIU-UHW. SEIU-UHW also represents Villa Fairmont Medical Health Resource Center in San Leandro and Gladman Medical Health Resource Center in Oakland.
In the coming weeks, La Casa employees will prepare to join fellow SEIU-UHW members at Telecare in negotiations for a new contract.
Workers across these facilities are united to improve healthcare and healthcare jobs in California. Top priorities include improvements to patient care, safety, scheduling practices and job security.
SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) is the largest hospital and healthcare union in the western United States with more than 150,000 members. We unite every type of healthcare worker with a mission to achieve high-quality healthcare for all. SEIU-UHW is part of the 2.1 million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the nation’s fastest-growing union. Learn more at www.seiu-uhw.org.