Sequoia Hospital

The past two years have in many ways radically changed how our country sees and understands the critical role front line heath care workers play every day. And throughout the pandemic, the 300 nurses’ assistants, aids, surgical techs, respiratory therapists, housekeepers, cooks and more at Sequoia Hospital never quit on their patients of this community. These heroes make the hospital happen every day.

But the shocking conditions they have been forced to work under are nothing less than shameful and unsettling to anyone who would turn to the Dignity Health system for care. Staffing levels are far below what they should be, putting the health of patients at risk. Being stretched so thin means hospital employees are forced to work with less, which means they have less time they can spend with patients -- time that can be lifesaving. The staffing crisis is exacerbated by the fact that compensation at Sequoia hospital is incredibly low. Not only has pay failed to keep up with inflation, but it has fallen far below other employers, sapping the facility of the experienced staff needed to deliver proper care.

This is a crisis of Dignity Health’s own making. AFSCME Local 829 members have been bargaining a new contract to try and address these issues at Sequoia Hospital for months. They are asking for the dignity of affordable health care premiums so they can access the same care they deliver. They are asking for the respect of a paycheck that will reflect their essential work and allow them to support their families. They are asking the resources they need to deliver the quality of care they are trained for and that their patients deserve.