FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 13, 2023
Renée Saldaña, 213-479-5137
LA MESA, Calif. — Healthcare workers at Sharp HospiceCare 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. More than 100 frontline workers are covered by this election, and they now join 1,500 workers at Sharp Grossmont Hospital who voted to unite in SEIU-UHW in February.
“As hospice workers, we pour our hearts into caring for our patients during an incredibly difficult time in their lives,” said Milad Nukho, a home health aide at Sharp HospiceCare. “But it’s hard to do our jobs and hold onto top-tier caregivers when the cost of living in San Diego is so high and we’re stressing over how to pay our bills and provide for our families. Now that we’re union we’ll have a voice to ensure that patients and workers are treated with dignity.”
The victory was overwhelming: 75 percent of voters supported unionizing. The vote applies to various job classes, including licensed vocational nurses, home health aides, intake coordinators, schedulers, and clerical assistants.
This is the sixth group of healthcare workers in the San Diego area to unite in SEIU-UHW so far this year. In addition to the workers at Sharp Grossmont Hospital who did so in February, four groups of Fresenius dialysis workers in the region have voted to join SEIU-UHW in recent months, with more elections happening soon.
For years, workers across Sharp Healthcare 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 San Diego community throughout the pandemic.
Sharp Healthcare made a 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.2 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. Learn more at www.seiu-uhw.org.