LA MESA, Calif. — Healthcare workers at Sharp Grossmont Hospital have voted to improve patient care and jobs by uniting in SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW), a union of more than 100,000 healthcare workers across California. The election took place on February 1-3 and covers 1,500 frontline workers at the facility, making it among the largest number of workers at a California hospital to go union in a decade.
“This is a huge win for our patients and this community,” said Haba Serrano, who works in the hospital’s Emergency Department. “Workers here shouldn’t be struggling to provide housing and other basic necessities for our loved ones. Now that we’re union, we’ll have a strong voice to ensure safe staffing levels, the best possible care for our patients, and good jobs at Sharp Grossmont so we can recruit and hold onto top-tier staff.”
The victory was decisive: 55 percent of the workers voting supported joining SEIU-UHW. The vote applies to a variety of job classes, including Licensed Vocational Nurses, Certified Nursing Assistants, Respiratory Care Practitioners, Pharmacy Technicians, Imaging Assistants, Certified Phlebotomy Technicians, Healthcare Partners, Surgical Technologists, Unit Clerks, and numerous other frontline healthcare workers.
This is the fourth group of healthcare workers in the San Diego area to unite in SEIU-UHW recently. Workers at three Fresenius dialysis clinics in the region voted to join the union last month.
For years, healthcare workers at Sharp Grossmont Hospital have struggled with staffing shortages, safety concerns, and wages far below market for this region — even as these caregivers have risked their lives to serve the community throughout the pandemic.
Sharp Healthcare made net income of over $1.17 billion from 2020 to 2021, according to its own financial disclosures. Sharp has received $256 million in federal, taxpayer-funded COVID-19 funds, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. The company CEO was paid $1.68 million in 2020.
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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