When Tragedy Strikes, SEIU 1021 Members Must Stick Together
A Message from SEIU 1021 President Theresa Rutherford
Dear SEIU 1021 Member:
Last week a difficult week for Alameda Health System, as two workers there passed away: Maria Tran, a psychiatric nurse at John George, and Dr. Jing Mai, a physician resident intern at Highland. These untimely deaths are terribly sad, and while we may never fully understand why tragedies like these occur, we know the effects will be felt in our workplaces and in our communities for a long time.
Our thoughts and our prayers are with the grieving families, and, as union members, with one another as well. We must show up for each other, and understand that we all may need time to heal from the shock and impact of this trauma.
AHS has made support counsellors available on site at John George and Highland, and virtual one-on-one support from Claremont Employee Assistance Program at 1-800-834-3773 or www.claremonteap.com. I urge AHS workers to take advantage of these resources.
Dr. Mai was a member of a sibling local, SEIU CIR. Lilavati Indulkar, MD, an SEIU 1021 Physician Bargaining team member, has said, “Although she was new to the program and we knew her for only a handful of weeks, her love touched us all.”
“Maria Tran was beloved by her John George family and will be deeply missed,” said SEIU 1021 steward B.J. Wilson.
Ruby Sloan, another SEIU 1021 steward, said about Maria Tran, “She was a joy to work with. She had a smile on her face every single day. That’s how she greeted everyone: by smiling and hugging. She was always helping her co-workers. She was rare in keeping up her spirit all day, every day. She was a true team player.”
I hope these tributes move you as they have moved me. Like you, I have lost co-workers in the past, working as a CNA at Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco. I was able to take comfort from knowing that there were people at work who had my back, and I hope this will comfort you as well.
Theresa Rutherford, SEIU 1021 President