SEIU 1021

Facing unfair labor practices and an unsafe workplace, SEIU 1021 members at Alameda Health System vote to strike
The vote passed nearly unanimously: 99.5%


Alameda County, California – After months of bargaining over a new contract and numerous unfair labor practices from Alameda Health System (AHS) management, SEIU 1021 members have voted overwhelmingly to authorize their bargaining team to call a strike. 99.5 percent voted to strike.

Veronica Palacios, who serves as the AHS Chapter President, said, “Our members have spoken, and they’ve spoken loudly. We’re frontline healthcare workers, and we’re trying to serve our community, however, we have to deal with unfair labor practices from management every single day. It’s frustrating, and it’s sad, because this mistreatment and mismanagement is not new to us. It’s very disappointing, because the current Board of Trustees was brought in to make sure AHS was a better-run public health system, with good care for our patients and no unfair labor practices against our workers. Our members are organized and united to do whatever it takes to fix AHS, and this strike vote is just more proof of that.”

AHS management has engaged in unfair labor practices both at the bargaining table, failing to provide information about budgeting, turnover, and workplace violence, and in the workplace, routinely engaging in anti-union activities, including retaliation against union members, and discrimination against union activity. Issues in contract negotiations have included safety, staffing, including recruitment and retention issues across the system, wages, and patient care. SEIU 1021 members have rallied repeatedly to call attention to the system’s safety issues, including on Valentine’s Day at Highland Hospital and on March 20th at John George Psychiatric Hospital.

“It’s hard to fight for good healthcare for our community when we have to fight unfair labor practices at work,” said Palacios. “Our community needs healthcare, and our co-workers need a safe working environment. Management has shown more urgency in union-busting than they have in addressing the public health issues we’re brought to the bargaining table. We need management to do right by the community and the essential workers who do so much to keep people in Alameda County safe and healthy.”

Following up their strike authorization vote, SEIU 1021 members will be taking their case to the AHS Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday, June 12 at 5 p.m. at Highland Hospital in Oakland.

SEIU Local 1021 represents over 60,000 employees in local governments, non-profit agencies, health care programs, and schools throughout Northern California, including more than 3,500 workers across Alameda Health System, Alameda County’s safety-net medical provider. SEIU Local 1021 is a diverse, member-driven organization with members who work to make our cities, schools, colleges, counties, and special districts safe and healthy places to live and raise our families. We nurse our sick, educate our children, clean our schools, and care for our seniors and developmentally disabled. SEIU members at AHS include nurses, laboratory workers, eligibility workers, food service workers, custodians, housekeeping and maintenance workers, pharmacy workers, and dozens of other jobs across the system.