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Resolutions & Amendments

31st International Convention - San Diego, CA (1994)

Quality in Health Care

Resolution No. 60
31st International Convention
June 27-July 1, 1994
San Diego, CA


            Many state and local governments are responding to fiscal restraints by looking to downsize the public work force, reduce the public services provided, and cut funding to the hospitals and health care systems they own, operate or finance; and


            The growing costs of health care and competitiveness in the health care industry are pressuring hospitals and health care systems to cut costs and improve the efficiency of their operations, at a time when the demand on services is growing; and


            Hospitals are responding to the changing environment by scrutinizing their staffing levels and patterns, fundamentally redesigning jobs and work processes, pressuring their employees to discharge patients quicker, and considering structural changes, such as privatization and mergers; and


            The enactment of national health reform will inevitably accelerate today's trends and bring dramatic changes in the way health care is organized and delivered; and


            AFSCME members know best what needs to be done, because they're on the front lines of delivering quality patient care. They know that the quality of care depends on skilled, experienced people working together, with adequate staffing levels, equipment and supplies; and


            The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) has endorsed the philosophy of continuous quality improvement. The current JCAHO accreditation standards that a hospital must meet require a planned, specific and ongoing process for improving the quality of care and support activities; and


            AFSCME public and non-profit health workers are dedicated and committed to quality care for all, both as a basic human right and in the interest of public health; and


            When AFSCME councils and locals have been successful at involving the union in the planning process at the earliest stages, and when they have been able to work cooperatively with management to identify problems and seek solutions, they have been able to improve the quality of patient care, achieve cost savings, gain influence for the union, provided job security, and empower the members.


            That AFSCME will advocate approaches to redesigning the organization and delivery of quality health care that empower our members to participate on an equal basis with management in the planning and decision making process including a management agreement on union neutrality; and


            That AFSCME will continue to work for national health reform that protects the specific needs of AFSCME members and includes provisions for union involvement in the planning process for changes to service delivery; and


            That the International Union will work with the councils and locals to provide the training, information and resources needed, to develop joint labor-management participatory processes, that will result in greater worker input into improving the quality of management and delivering higher quality health care services to all.



Donald G. McKee, President and Delegate 
Dick Palmer, Secretary-Treasurer and Delegate 
AFSCME Council 61