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Latest News - June 2013

June 13, 2013
Nurses Union Threatens Strike At Mental Health Facility
Source: Gazettes
By: Harry Saltzgaver

Members of the SEIU-United Healthcare Workers have filed a notice of intent to strike at a north Long Beach mental health facility, citing unsafe conditions for workers and patients.

In the notice, SEIU-UHW claims that the Telecare La Casa Mental Health Rehabilitation Center at 6060 N. Paramount Blvd. has seen more than 230 calls to the police over the last three years, with patient escapes, employees being hospitalized after altercations with patients and more. The Unfair Labor Practice Strike is scheduled to start June 26 and end on July 1 unless Telecare management addresses the safety issues.

“The last thing we want to do is strike, but it appears that’s the only option we have left to get the company to bargain in good faith and protect the safety of patients, employees and the public, La Casa employee Tony Gann said in the release announcing the strike. “Patients are here to get well, and they should not fear becoming the victim of a sexual assault. Employees are here to deliver care, and they should not fear being kicked, punched or slammed into the ground.”

According to the notice, employee safety requests, including an onsite security guard and a Plexiglas barrier around the nursing station, has been denied by Telecare management. In April this year, a worker reportedly had to go to the emergency room after being knocked unconscious by a patient.

Telecare operates facilities in six states. The Long Beach location operates under a contract with Los Angeles County to accept patients from the Twin Towers Correctional Facility or the Metropolitan State Hospital. The SEIU-UHW statement says La Casa gets nearly $450 per patient per day from the county.



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