Approximately 250 employees have now formed a second union bargaining unit at Northern Inyo Healthcare District, joining Registered Nurses as part of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 315. On Tuesday, November 26, Patient Care, Technical, Service and Business Office employees were officially certified by the State of California’s Mediation and Conciliation Service as a Union. Together with the nurses, they will form a majority union voice at NIHD.
The Union Organizing Committee called on Administration to begin negotiations respectfully and without delay. “We are hoping that this is the beginning of a quick and easy transition to the fairness, respect, equality, and openness with which we the employees of NIHD would like to be treated,” urged Teri Boling, an employee in the District’s Clinical Lab.
Employees have been engaged in building their union for several months. “I was worried about how we were being treated as frontline employees, and how that could affect the morale and pride that we take in our jobs, which could affect how we care for our patients,” explained Kaylyn Rickford, a Medical Assistant at the Rural Health Clinic. “We are looking forward to having a collective voice so we can continue to provide our patients with the high level of care that we take pride in.”
According to Samantha Bumgarner, an Emergency Room Technician, “Most of us are long-time NIHD employees or have deep roots in this community. We stand together with our fellow employees. We want what is truly right for not only our coworkers but ultimately our patients-and our community as a whole.”