La Clínica de la Raza provides vital healthcare services to communities in Alameda County, Contra Costa County, and Solano County. These healthcare services are overwhelmingly provided by the 700+ members of SEIU 1021. These Medical Assistants, Physicians, Nurses, Dental Assistants, Dentists, Behavioral Health Clinicians, Case Managers, Community Health educators, and many more continue to work through the pandemic in order to provide care to communities desperately in need of affordable, accessible, and culturally sensitive healthcare.
As SEIU 1021 went into contract bargaining this summer, the members expected management to approach them as legitimate partners in the efforts to improve the access and delivery of healthcare and to show their appreciation for the sacrifice and commitment union members have shown as frontline workers. Instead, management refuses to adequately address the recruitment and retention problem that results in 24.5% vacancies. These vacancies are directly caused by low wages that fail to keep up with the cost of living in the Bay Area and result in long wait times for clients and burnout for workers.
Even more distressing is management’s unwillingness or inability to provide accurate and transparent economic information to collaboratively move this organization forward. La Clínica has received over $34 million in federal stimulus grants and loans in response to the pandemic. Management plans to use $1.6 million to create new management positions and over $10 million on IT and telecom upgrades while workers continue to fall behind, and while they admit “La Clínica does not have a long-term financial plan at this time.”
We, the undersigned workers, clients, and community members, call on La Clínica CEO Jane Garcia and the Board of Directors to prioritize clients and workers by focusing on collaborative strategies to increase pay, reduce vacancies, and invest in the professional development of their workforce. Only when we work together in partnership can we secure La Clínica’s future as a leader in community health.