SEIU Local 121RN takes action to combat COVID-19, protect patients, RNs and other Healthcare Professionals

The importance of having a collective voice and the strength of standing together has never been more important. The COIVD-19 pandemic puts our entire society under a stress test, widening every hole in our safety net, exposing inequalities, showing the weaknesses in worker protections, and laying bare the economic challenges that working families face. In the midst of these challenges, SEIU Local 121RN members are bravely holding the front lines in protecting and supporting our communities.

Member leaders and Union staff are working around the clock to address this rapidly changing and growing pandemic, often in the face of inadequate leadership from hospital administrators, public agencies and local, state and national leaders.

  • SEIU Local 121RN has made official demands for information and demands to bargain over issues such as safety protocols, use of supplies and support of hospital staff.
  • We launched a survey to gather data on the levels of training, supplies and safety implemented by hospitals during the current crisis. We are using this data in conversations with local health and safety agencies, and in conversations with elected officials and our state coalition, SEIU California.
  • At the hospital level, Union Rep/Organizers have collected our members’ concerns and reports of mishandled responses to the outbreak and unnecessary risks to patients and hospital staff. The Rep/Organizers take this information straight to hospital administrators to demand improvements. For example, at several Southern California hospitals,  Union Rep/Organizers have pushed hospitals to establish separate entry points for hospital staff to prevent contamination caused by standing in temp-check lines with sick patients—contamination that could be spread to other patients.
  • We are also working with local, state and federal agencies and elected leaders, pushing them to:
    • Provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all essential employees, including urging distribution of emergency stockpile supplies at the state and federal level to your hospitals.
    • Make Child Care available; prioritized for RNs and other frontline workers who are working during this crisis.
    • Expand Paid Family Leave and Unemployment Insurance to all workers.
    • Provide fully Paid Sick Leave, Emergency Family Medical Leave assistance and Unemployment Insurance for ALL regardless of employer size and with no exceptions for health care providers.
    • Make sure our healthcare staff are fully supported and ready with a coordinated and swift approach to manufacturing and distribution of personal protective equipment, drugs and medical supplies at impacted worksites.
    • Put all workers, direct and franchise, at the center of any industry relief, including our contract workers at airports. Any industry relief must prioritize healthcare and financial support for workers over executive pay, shareholders or profits.
    • Provide economic security for every person that includes expanded Unemployment Insurance and covering wages of franchisee employees, contracted workers, and tipped workers at $15 per hour and $2,000 per person with additional installments in direct cash relief.
    • Support states by fully funding healthcare and testing for all people, including immigrant workers and contractors regardless of immigration status.
    • …and much more.
  • We are working with the City of Los Angeles to coordinate volunteer RNs willing to conduct temperature checks on asymptomatic homeless people that the city’s sheltering. Learn more here.
  • In addition, we are working to get our members’ concerns out to the community at large—here, here, here, here and here.
  • We continue to work closely with member leaders on the front lines in our Union to continually fine-tune our efforts as the crisis unfolds.
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