St. Francis Fights for the Future of Community Patient Care

March 2015

St. Francis registered nurses in Lynwood fought for over six months to achieve a contract that protected patients in their communities from potential cuts to services upon which the community depends. Daughters of Charity, owners of several California Catholic charity hospitals, decided to get out of the health care business in early 2014. UNAC/UHCP members were concerned that moving to a for-profit owner could impact services for the local community, and became even more worried when Daughters of Charity named Prime Healthcare Services, Inc., a notorious cost-cutter, the preferred buyer.

The California Attorney General Kamala Harris got involved once Prime was named the buyer and set up a series of hearings on the potential sale to a for-profit chain. St. Francis union leaders attended hearings up and down the state, fighting for the communities impacted by this sale.

St. Francis RNs Edwin Guardado, Marlene Castanon, Scott Byington and Rosa Carcoma were among those who spoke out about the dire consequences of the sale, noting, “We’re here to save lives and advocate for our patients. A person having a heart attack has a 90 minute window to survive. How far will they have to go to get the urgent care they need and where are mothers in this community supposed to go to deliver their babies?”

Attorney General Harris approved the sale of the chain to Prime on February 20, but with strict conditions. Visit unacuhcp.org for more information.

In addition to a new three year contract, St. Francis members won the resolution of nearly 40 grievances that had been held up for years during the contract negotiation process. Many thanks to the large number of St. Francis RNs who turned out at bargaining to support their team.