Alameda Health System Workers Stand Together for Patient and Worker Safety As the COVID-19 Pandemic Strikes
The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious public health threat, and many SEIU 1021 members are on the front lines of keeping the public healthy while keeping each other safe. In Alameda County, workers across the public health system have stood together to demand an end to the chronic mismanagement and underfunding that have endangered workers and underserved the public for years – and their solidarity is getting results.
After a series of actions, including lunchtime rallies, marches, testimony at Board of Supervisors meetings, and an emergency press conference in front of Oakland’s Highland Hospital, AHS management has agreed to pay workers who are forced to self-quarantine after being exposed to coronavirus at work.
John Pearson, an emergency room nurse and President of the AHS chapter, said, “We have been fighting understaffing and not enough equipment and inadequate training for years and years, and today we had a massive win. I’m so proud of my coworkers and so glad to be union strong in the face of COVID-19.”
An earlier win included AHS management being forced to extend in-home care benefits to essential workers so that children and elders can be kept safe and healthy while AHS employees are at work. Read more about AHS healthcare workers’ rally covered by The Mercury News.