SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – The Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors has unanimously passed a resolution condemning Dignity Health’s treatment of its security officers and calling on the corporate healthcare giant to “immediately respect the will of these workers by recognizing them as members of SEIU-UHW.”
With the 5-0 vote, the Board joins dozens of other elected bodies and leaders — including U.S. Senator Alex Padilla, Santa Cruz City Council, San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and Los Angeles City Council — in expressing outrage over Dignity Health’s mistreatment of the security officers who are the first line of defense for patients and caregivers across the chain’s facilities.
“Security officers at Dignity Health put their lives on the line to protect patients and healthcare workers,” said Russ Nirenstein, a former security officer at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz. “But Dignity Health refuses to provide them the staffing and training to do our jobs. They just don’t seem to take the officers’ safety and security seriously.”
The security officers are committed to forming their union in SEIU-UHW in order to address the myriad of workplace threats they face. A vast majority of the officers across the state have signed union authorization cards to join SEIU-UHW and are now waiting for Dignity Health to recognize them as members of the union.
Complaints have been filed recently against Dignity Health with the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) due to numerous safety violations, including routine failures to screen people entering the hospital, failure to enforce social distancing rules, failure to train security guards on COVID-19 protocols, and failure to report COVID-19 cases to security guards with potential exposure.
Media Contact: Renée Saldaña, [email protected]
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SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) is a healthcare justice union of more than 100,000 healthcare workers, patients, and healthcare activists united to ensure affordable, accessible, high-quality care for all Californians, provided by valued and respected healthcare workers.