SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Healthcare workers at Sharp Grossmont Hospital have voted to join the SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West union, according to a press release from the union.
The union says it's made up of more than 100,000 healthcare workers across the state, and the election at Sharp Grossmont Hospital happened from Feb. 1 to Feb. 3. The 1,500 frontline workers at the facility joined the union, marking one of the largest number of workers at a California hospital to join the union in 10 years.
“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.”
SEIU-UHW says 55% of the workers voted to join the union. The frontline workers who joined include licensed vocational nurses, certified nursing assistants, respiratory care practitioners, pharmacy technicians, imaging assistants, certified phlebotomy technicians, healthcare partners, surgical technologists, unit clerks and more job classes.
The union says this is the fourth group from the San Diego area to join recently. They say workers at three Fresenius dialysis clinics in the area joined 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," the press release says.
From 2020 to 2021, Sharp Healthcare made a net income of more than $1.17 billion based off its own financial disclosures, the release says.
Department of Health and Human Services data indicates Sharp received $256 million in federal COVID-19 funds, according to the union.
The union also says the company's CEO was paid $1.68 million in 2020.