Rev. Jesse Jackson is throwing is considerable publicity-making powers behind union efforts to boost pay and restructure working conditions at Los Angeles-based Good Samaritan Hospital. The SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West has targeted Good Samaritan, which it says pays 40 percent less than other hospitals in the region, for a high-profile effort designed to force hospital executives' hand, including a Monday appearance by Jackson. The union says that executives have ignored caregivers' concerns about high turnover rates at the hospital, and have not updated their staffing ratios to protect patients. Good Samaritan, a 408-bed academic medical center affiliated with USC Keck School of Medicine, employs 467 SEIU members, roughly one-third of its 1,300 employees, so anything that motivates union members to take action could conceivably have some effect. Jackson has previously visited other California hospitals on a similar mission.
For more information on the union effort:
- read this SEIU press release