Workforce Development

Welcome, SEIU-UHW Workforce

This page is designed to keep you updated on issues that impact your work and careers as healthcare providers. This includes any legislation that relates your field, healthcare news, and opportunities for you to help determine the future for healthcare workers.

Become an SEIU-UHW Workforce Leader and Education Fund Champion

Healthcare is changing. Technology and payment reform is only increasing the speed of these changes. We want your help to ensure that we are prepared for the future.

We want to create a member-driven group to deal with these changes.

Some of the possible activities that this group could undertake are:

Help members stay informed on workforce trends, like new certifications or technologies.
Bring your expertise about what’s occurring or changes in your occupation
Increase member engagement and develop a sense of ownership the Ed Fund.
Extending the outreach of the Ed Fund- like putting up flyers, coordinating training, and spreading the word about upcoming trainings.
Giving feedback or coming up with ideas for classes and programs.

If you are interested, click here.

Workforce Meetings
If you’d like attend our next webinar, please contact Matt Lege at

Kaiser Workforce Activities

There are several committees operating at Kaiser.

NCAL LMP Workforce Planning & Development Committee meets monthly. Agenda and materials can be seen, by clicking here.
SCOPE Committee meets monthly to discuss issues about scope of practice. Agenda and meeting notes can be seen, by clicking here.

The Workforce of the Future Committee meets quarterly. View the report from our work in 2014, by clicking here.

Hospital Division

Community Colleges

Did you go through the community college system to obtain your training and educations? We want to hear about it. Click here to email

We want to hear about SEIU-UHW members and how they got their training. Healthcare jobs are in demand and we need an education system to train workers to be a part of the new health care workforce. We want to know if you went to community college or got your training someplace else. Let’s make sure that our children and family have at least the same if not better opportunities to get their education and be a part of the healthcare workforce.

Kaiser Workforce Committee Meeting on January 30, 2016

On January 30th, 2016, 75 SEIU-UHW members in 4 offices attended the Kaiser Workforce committee meeting. We heard from management, labor partners and our internal leaders about how the workforce is changing and the need for more SEIU-UHW members to step up and help with these changes.  We want to make sure that the Jobs of the Future are good jobs that we help create! If you want to be a part of the committee contact  



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Kaiser Workforce




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Mock Knee Surgery Highlights Need for Operating Room Safety

Recently, state legislators got a better view of what really happens in the operating room.

SEIU-UHW members, along with Dr. Lenita Williamson and other health care professionals, performed a mock total knee replacement surgery at the State Capitol as part of efforts by SEIU-UHW Professional and Technical members urging Governor Jerry Brown to support legislation (AB 2062) that would help reduce patient infections and other complications.

SEIU-UHW members Lane Holmes from St. Josephs Medical Center and Jacey Ahrenholtz from Doctors Medical Center in Modesto played the role of surgical technologist and surgical assistant, respectively. Yitskhaq Abraham, a certified surgical technologist at Kaiser West L.A., narrated the surgery as media and lawmakers observed.

Assembly Bill 2062, which is currently moving through the State Senate, will mandate that all newly hired surgical technologists attend an accredited school and maintain their certification. AB 2062 was written by SEIU-UHW, and surgical tech members have also testified and lobbied legislators to build support. The bill has yet to receive a “no” vote, showing the power of SEIU-UHW members when we stand together.

“A lot of people think that we just pass surgeons instruments. They don’t realize how important we are to preventing infections,” said Brianna Maynard, a Surg Tech student at Carrington College. “Knowing that my mom or family member can go in for surgery, I want to know that the surg tech is certified. It’s very important to me.”

Stay up-to-date on news related to Professions, Technologists, and Technicians by clicking here.

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UHW Members Stage Mock Surgery at Capitol to Urge Gov. Brown to Improve Operating Room Safety

[Aug. 19, 2014] SACRAMENTO, Calif.Hundreds of California surgical workers rallied to improve operating room safety by staging a mock procedure at the State Capitol and urging Gov. Jerry Brown to support legislation that helps reduce patient infections and other complications.

“Our goal is to ensure the highest quality of care and safety for our patients and that starts with everyone at the operating room table being appropriately educated and credentialed,” said Yitskhaq Abraham, a certified surgical technologist at Kaiser West L.A. “Another advantage is that the costs would be paid for by the workers and their employers – none of it would come from taxpayers.”

To illustrate the need for greater operating room safety, workers staged an hour-long mock knee replacement procedure, led by an actual surgeon and assisted by surgical technologists, the employees who prepare patients, ensure the operating room is sterile and assemble all surgical equipment and confirm that it is working properly.

Under AB 2062, legislation introduced by Assemblymember Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina), all newly practicing surgical technologists would be required to be certified after Jan. 1, 2015. The measure unanimously passed the Assembly in May and is awaiting a vote in the Senate. In 2012, Gov. Brown vetoed similar legislation.

Currently, the State of California has no minimum education or certification requirements for surgical technologists, making them the only professionals working in operating rooms without a license or certification. Nearly 9,400 surgical technologists work in California.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, operating room infections are the second-most common type of hospital-acquired infections, and the most costly.

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Pros & Techs are making their voices heard at the Capitol

Pro & Techs are making their voices heard at the Capitol

SEIU-UHW Pro & Techs member Yitskhaq Bar Abraham testified before the Senate Health committee on June 18th on AB 2062, the Certified Surgical Technologist Act.

Yitskhaq, Ashley Clay and Kelly Scanlon also made their voices heard in Sacramento by speaking directly to the members of the Assembly Health and the Senate Business and Professions committee on AB 2062 and SB 993, Dietitian Update.

Testimony on AB 2062 (Surgical Technologist Yitskhaq Bar Abraham)

Testimony on SB 993 (Dieticians Ashley Clay and Kelly Scanlon)

Both pieces of legislation were voted out of committee without a “NO” vote. SEIU-UHW members’ excellent testimony made all the difference.

Email to be a part of changing healthcare in California like these SEIU-UHW Pro Tech members.

Pro Tech Tele-Town Hall

Get ready, our next Pro Tech Tele-Town Hall is on July 15th at 7 p.m.!

Sign up now and mark your calendar.

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March 2014 Pro/Tech Townhall Presentation

If you weren’t able to join in on the March Telephone Townhall for Pro/Techs, you don’t have to miss out!

Listen to the recording:

View the presentation (PDF):
Part 1
Part 2

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Professional and Technical Healthcare Workers Townhall

Professional and technical healthcare workers face unique challenges in the changing healthcare environment. Now we have a chance to discuss how we can meet these challenges in order to protect our families and ourselves. Join the Pro Tech Telephone Townhall on March 26, at 7:00 p.m.  RSVP today

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Surgical Techs: Together we can improve safety and care

Though vital to quality care, there is no government recognition for Surgical Technologists, who are responsible for ensuring operating rooms stay safe and sterile and that the operating room team is efficient with the correct tools to perform the job.

AB 2062 (Hernández):

  • Creates a standard for surgical technologists through a certification requirement.
  • Brings California in line with six other states requiring certification, including New York, Massachusetts, and Texas.
  • Includes a grandfather clause for current surgical technologists and those trained by the military.
  • Does not expand the scope of practice for surgical technologist or other allied health professionals.

Yitskhaq Abraham, an SEIU-UHW Executive Board member and surgical technologist at Kaiser West Los Angeles, testified at the State Capitol on behalf of AB 2062 (Hernández):

The preliminary Assembly Floor Vote for AB 2062 (Certified Surgical Technologists) was 73 AYE – 0 NO.

Assemblymember Hernández presents the bill:

Read more about this legislation.

Read the full text of AB 2062 (Hernández) and see how the legislature has voted.

Read the flyer about SEIU-UHW members’ work on this issue.

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Dietitians: Together we can achieve quality, affordable care

Our Future as Dietitians
June 9, 6:00-7:30 p.m.
560 Thomas L Berkley Way, Oakland, CA 94612

This is an opportunity for Dietitians and DTRs to come together to talk about improving care in our hospitals & issues that we face as dietitian professionals. If you are outside the Bay Area, you can call into the meeting at (877) 336-1831 passcode: 8857286#.

We will discuss:

  • SB 993 (Mitchell), which would give Dietitians the ability to make minor changes to a patient’s diet within existing physician guidelines without an additional approval process.
  • The future of Dietitians and DTRs in our hospitals.
  • Forming a Dietitians’ committee to elevate work on our issues within SEIU-UHW.
  • And other issues facing our profession.


Dietitians are vital to quality patient care. We ensure patients get the appropriate nutrition and make informed choices about their diet.

Currently under California law, dietitians are required to go back to the doctor if a patient needs to alter their diet (i.e. ordering food to be ground up if the patient cannot chew, changing a diet so that it is culturally sensitive to the patient’s needs, etc.). Dietitians are qualified and trained to make these changes, and requiring
doctor approval increases patient cost, lowers quality of care and decreases the patient’s satisfaction when their dietary needs are delayed.

SEIU-UHW dietitians are taking the lead to change healthcare in California by providing high quality of care at a lower cost. Help us pass SB 993 (Mitchell).

Watch the entire hearing on SB 993 (12 minutes):

Read more about this legislation.

Read the full text of SB 993 (Mitchell) and see how the legislature has voted.

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Pros & Techs Speak: Why Join the Townhall Call?

Erika Whatley, Certified Surgical Technologist, Kaiser West LA[2]I’m joining the call because its time to take off our masks and be recognized.  Everyday we (Surgical Techs) impact the success of a surgery with our knowledge and skills.  Its time for our education and efforts to be recognized.  We ARE professionals. – Erika Whatley, Certified Surgical Technician, Kaiser West L.A.

Jennifer Jusinski_registered dietition_Kaiser FremontI think that healthcare is changing so dramatically and specifically for dieticians in the preventative health side, important to be on top of the changes and how we can work with them in our hospitals. Statewide when it comes to diff policies and laws that affect what we can do. Being able to work statewide with issues that affect our professions to make sure they align with what we are trained to do and the laws we’re pushing for reflect that. We all have scope of practice laws and we need to support each other during challenging times so we can maximize what we do within the hospital and our communities and patients. Taking responsibility for the changes that are important to you and being on the call is one way to give your input. Take action for what you think is important and join the call. – Jennifer Jusinski, Registered Dietician, Kaiser Fremont

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