Concord, California – According to union officials, health care employees at two East Bay institutions are going to strike next month due to understaffing, poor working conditions, and unfair labor practices.
Workers at Antioch’s Sutter Delta Medical Center and Concord’s John Muir Health Behavioral Health Center stated their working conditions are awful, and that supervisors are disregarding their complaints about understaffing.
“We’re burnt out, we’re exhausted, and we can’t go on like this,” said Bertha Lopez, a unit secretary at John Muir Health Behavioral Health Center, in a statement. “John Muir needs to address the understaffing issues that have made working conditions impossible here.”
“We’re drowning. There’s just not enough staff,” said Jennifer Stone, an emergency room technician at Sutter Delta Medical Center, in a statement. “We’re wearing too many hats – we’re talking down angry COVID patients then we’re rushing to a code then we’re talking to family members who just lost a loved one. We can’t give adequate care.”
Workers say limited staffing predates the COVID-19 pandemic following years of decisions by managers.
Workers in a variety of jobs plan to strike, including mental health counselors, emergency room technicians, phlebotomists, psychiatric technicians, and among others respiratory therapists.
The union representing the workers is Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West.