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Southern California health care workers form a union through AFSCME

Photo Credit: Getty Images
By Jashua Bane ·

LOS ANGELES – Hundreds of health care professionals at Kaiser Permanente in Southern California have overwhelmingly voted to join AFSCME-affiliated UNAC/UHCP (United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals).

These 420 health educators, dietitians, speech-language pathologists and audiologists approached UNAC/UHCP in March 2020 seeking a union with a track record of member involvement and winning strong contracts that set the standard for high-quality patient care.

They organized to gain a voice in the workplace to improve their professions and patient care, and to address issues such as stagnant wages and improve their retirement security. They voted overwhelmingly to join UNAC/UNCP on July 19.

“Congrats to everybody on a hard-fought victory. Over 700 days later, our perseverance paid off. Now we get to work with the representation we deserve,” said Brian Davis, a speech-language pathologist in Orange County.

“Our patients depend on the exceptional care we provide,” said Isis Hernandez, a registered dietitian in Downey. “We look forward to bargaining a contract that will respect our practice, protect our retirement, and give us a real voice to advocate for our patients. When health care professionals come together, patients win.”

The 32,000 UNAC/UHCP members, working together for the past half-century, have improved patient care and elevated standards in the health care profession throughout California and Hawaii.

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