Last Wednesday, health care workers and employees at Methodist Hospital in Arcadia voted to join the Caregivers & Healthcare Employees Union (CHEU).
On Jan. 21 and 22, health care workers and employees at Methodist Hospital voted in a secret ballot election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board to join CHEU.
CHEU will represent nearly 700 health care workers and employees at the hospital. They include technical employees, nursing assistants, and other hospital workers.
“The most important issue is giving patients the care they deserve,” said Margarita Cervantes, a nursing assistant who has worked at Methodist Hospital for 19 years. “We joined the union so that we can have a stronger voice on safe staffing. We want the lift team to have working equipment to safely handle patients and prevent injuries to our patient and our workers.”
“We’re very happy to be part of CHEU and can use our collective voice to have a say in patient care and staffing,” said Theresa Hayes, an MRI technologist who has worked at Methodist Hospital for 23 years and is a member of the organizing team. “Now we will have a say about policies to improve recruitment and retention.”
“We are excited to have won our election with CHEU,” said Chris Martinez, a respiratory care practitioner who has worked at Methodist Hospital for 12 years. “Now, we look forward to having a voice on patient care and safety.”
An important issue for Methodist Hospital workers voting to join CHEU was the desire for a stronger collective voice on patient care issues, especially in improving safe staffing. They are also seeking consistent break coverage, fair pay, improved health benefits, and proper training and orientation. All these steps will enhance retention and recruitment of health care workers and guarantee quality patient care, say the hospital workers.
The next step is for the hospital workers to elect a team of their colleagues to represent them in talks for their first collective bargaining agreement with Methodist Hospital management.