NAPA (CPIX 5) – Workers at Queen of the Valley Medical Center were out marking Wednesday, claiming that Napa County’s largest hospital is severely understaffed and underpaid.
But that’s not all. The information campaign was organized in the hope of telling the community how it is inside this hospital.
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Support staff at Queen of the Valley told KPIX 5 that negotiations with their employer have not gone anywhere.
“We’re tired, we’re all tired,” said employee Tammy Wiggin.
Like many other health facilities during the pandemic, the Queen of the Valley handles staff shortages.
To ease the stress of California hospitals, Governor Gavin Newsom recently allowed medical facilities to bring their asymptomatic COVID-19 positive staff back to work.
However, Wiggins claims, “They got a positive lab person to come in and work. And then everyone in the lab had to test. Another lady was tested positive. They told her you have no symptoms you can get to work. Now is “Her whole family is infected and she’s still working. She takes blood from cancer patients.”
While COVID-19 has led to staff shortages, workers protesting said operator Providence Health & Services has a history of understaffing at the hospital.
Karen McNair, a nurse, told KPIX 5: “They do not care about staff, they do not care about our families when they are sick. They do not even care about our patients because they do not staff us, so we can take good care of them. ”
Providence said it takes a multi-pronged approach to addressing staffing issues. In a statement to KPIX 5, they said in part, “At Providence, we want the same as our caregivers represented by unions: competitive pay that supports caregivers and their families and allows us to attract and retain the best talent.”
The operator said it works with national staffing companies and offers signature bonuses to job candidates, but employees say pay is the main problem.
“We’ve had people who have come in here, MR people who say no to jobs because why should they work here when they can work for Kaiser and earn $ 50 an hour more,” Wiggin explained.
Negotiations are expected to resume on Thursday.
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Editor’s Note: Full statement from Providence Health & Services.
We believe that this streak, held by the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) – a union representing service and technical workers – is in response to staffing challenges related to the pandemic, as well as wage negotiations.
It is important to know that information strikes are not strikes, but they are a way for unions to inform and develop public support for their position. We respect the rights of our caregivers to be part of a union and participate in this action.
Here are the key points:
• Staff challenges: As is the case in hospitals across the country, staffing has been and has been a challenge throughout the pandemic. We remain focused on maintaining our current workforce as well as recruiting new relatives for vacancies. We have a multi-pronged approach to strengthening our workforce and recruiting nursing staff, including:
• Collaborate with national staffing companies and government agencies to meet our needs. We compete with other hospitals in the country and the state for these limited resources.
Accelerate recruitment to quickly fill vacancies and offer highly competitive job sign-up bonuses to hard-to-fill positions to strengthen the front lines as quickly as possible, which will help alleviate the stress and burnout experienced by many caregivers.
• Engage Providence’s current workforce in the recruitment process; Almost all open roles are now eligible for a generous referral bonus.
• To give recognition bonuses to all relatives throughout Providence in the fall and winter of 2021 as a thank you for their continued service and dedication.
• We are committed to negotiating fair and market-competitive wages for all our carers, and we have a consistent compensation practice: Wage rates are based on comprehensive market information and are competitive compared to those offered by other employers in the area for comparable jobs. We are currently meeting with the Union to discuss and negotiate in good faith.
At Providence, we want the same as our relatives represented by unions: competitive pay that supports relatives and their families and allows us to attract and retain the best talent.
We recognize the additional challenges our staff face during this recent COVID-19 increase. We greatly appreciate all the relatives and we thank them for continuing to pour their hearts into our mission to care for our neighbors and all those in need.
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The information strike will have no effect on the high quality care we provide to our patients. We maintain our hospital services so that we do not compromise on our ability to take care of the patients who count on us.
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