Tri-City Workers Rally Outside Hospital Fundraiser
Front line workers at Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside protested outside a hospital fundraising dinner at a Carlsbad resort Saturday night.
Labor contract negotiations have been at an impasse since the previous contract expired in April.
Workers including therapists, administrators and nutritionists said they were there to call out top administrators' high salaries and alert the public to possible worker layoffs and current understaffing.
Jorge Bravo is a housekeeper at Tri-City. His wife also works at Tri-City as an advanced care technician, or ACT. Bravo said he is concerned about possible layoffs and the impact of the layoffs on patient care.
“There are employees, ACTs, who are taking care of 18 patients,” Bravo said. “Is that safe? No, that's not safe.”
Sean Wherley, media relations representative for SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West, said there is a possibility 25 percent of hospital front line workers may be laid off per year for the next three years.
“It's clearly designed to cut costs,” Wherley said. “There's attention around this issue because it undermines patient care. Patients deserve better.”
Tri-City CEO Tim Moran has publicly said that outsourcing jobs is not on the table.
David Bennett, Tri-City chief marketing officer, had no comment on ongoing contract negotiations, but confirmed layoffs are not going to happen.
“That's correct, there's no intention of ever outsourcing work,” Bennett said.
Addressing the accusation of high executive salaries, Bennett added that all salaries are kept at competitive rates “executive or not.”
Employees said the language to outsource workers is in contract drafts. They said outsourcing will lower the quality of patient care with a higher staff turnover and a continual new staff learning curve.
Labor representatives said hospital workers also sponsored a $4,000 table at the fundraiser, to have the opportunity to talk one-on-one with donors about their concerns.
Tri-City Medical Center is a publicly funded health care provider.