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News of the Month – May 2023

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NUHW is featured in a Healthcare-Brew story about how the workplace conditions during the height of the pandemic is leading to a rising number of healthcare workers looking to unionize. “During the pandemic, we were getting a couple of leads a week. We’re now getting 8–10 leads a day from all over the country about folks needing to join a union,” NUHW President Sal Rosselli said.

Becker’s Hospital Review reports that the San Benito Health Care District, the board overseeing Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital, voted to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy, allows the hospital to remain open, and protects it from its creditors while it develops and negotiates a plan for adjusting its debt, according to the federal courts website.

A California appeals court has revived a class action suit claiming Kaiser Foundation Health Plan violates state law by failing to provide coverage for all medically necessary mental health care, Courthouse News reported. Acting on the request of the plaintiffs’ attorneys as well as Attorney General Rob Bonta and San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott, the judges published the opinion, making it precedent-setting.

Gov. Newsom signed AB 113 into law, which allows farm workers to unionize by signing cards under a process known as “card-check,” which essentially gives workers an opportunity to organize without the employer knowing. However, it removes their ability to unionize through mail-in ballots as the original bill would have allowed, the San Joaquin Valley Sun reported.

CBS News reports that dancers at North Hollywood’s Star Garden Topless Dive Bar voted unanimously to unionize with the Actors’ Equity Association, becoming the first adult joint in the nation to do so. The vote came a year after the workers first launched their unionization campaign, which led to a drawn-out legal battle between Star Garden and its performers, during which time the venue filed for bankruptcy. Star Garden settled with the labor board earlier this month and agreed to drop the bankruptcy proceedings, reinstate eight fired dancers, and give workers back pay.

San Diego, Orange, Riverside, San Francisco, Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Glenn will be rolling out their CARE Courts on October 1, Los Angeles Times reports. These special courts give judges the authority to order treatment plans for individuals with untreated schizophrenia and related disorders. L.A. County will open its court on Dec. 1; the rest of the state has until Oct. 1, 2024.

Several NUHW members were quoted in this Lost Coast Outpost story about service cuts at Providence hospitals in Humboldt County.

Becker’s Hospital Review reported that Kaiser is facing a proposed class-action lawsuit over accusations it installed code on its website and patient portal that gave companies including Google, Bing, Twitter, Adobe and Quantum Metric access to personal and private health information.

Sutter Health has signed a nonbinding letter of intent to acquire Santa Barbara-based Sansum, one of the oldest outpatient providers in the state, the Sacramento Bee reported. Sansum has 20 locations and more than 300 providers across various specialties, including three surgery centers in Southern California, a mental health facility in Hawaii and a call center in Utah.

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