Natividad Medical Center Unionized Workers Oppose Plan To Merge With Mee Memorial Hospital
About 700 workers at Natividad Medical Center represented by the Service Employees International Union Local 817 have signed a petition asking the Monterey County Board of Supervisors to reject a proposal to merge the facility with George L. Mee Memorial Hospital, a union official said Tuesday, the Monterey County Herald reports. Yvonne Martinez, deputy director of the union, told supervisors that Mee's proposal would not be financially sound and would compromise patient care and nurse staffing, the Herald reports. SEIU officials said that Mee's proposal also would terminate hospital workers' labor contracts. Mee officials presented a five-year plan to lease Natividad and provide medical services after Monterey County officials in April asked for outside offers to take over the institution. Mee is located in King City, and Natividad is located in Salinas.
Supervisors, who have held several closed session meetings on the merger, did not comment on the union's petition. However, Supervisor Lou Calcagno said that it is not "a healthy situation" to leave the issues unresolved, adding, "We've either got to deal with it or not." Assistant County Administrative Office Jim Colangelo said the board would again meet privately July 13 to discuss the matter, adding, "The board is still studying the proposal. It's something that takes a lot of time to understand." He said that a 60-day limit on the bid would draw public attention to the issue by the end of July, the Herald reports. According to the Herald, the board's review of Mee's offer comes when Natividad's "immediate financial picture has improved," ending the current fiscal year with a $2.7 million surplus (Parsons, Monterrey County Herald, 6/30).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.