Patient Care Associates (PCA’s) at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center are ramping up their campaign to win IAM representation.
PCAs have critical responsibilities in the hospital’s team-based care model, which include working closely with Registered Nurses at the bedside. In departments ranging from Radiation Oncology to the Emergency Room, PCAs help to implement each patient’s plan of care, making them natural advocates for their patients.
The campaign is part of a larger effort by the IAM and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) to bring more healthcare workers across the country professional recognition and a voice on the job.
“The IAM is proud to be partnering with the AFT and the Ohio Nurses Association to give healthcare workers the respect they deserve,” said IAM Organizing Director Vinny Addeo. “Our mission is to always put patients and communities first as we raise standards for healthcare professionals across the industry.”
“Patient care conditions are PCA working conditions,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President David Sullivan. “Through the IAM’s collaboration with the AFT, these front-line workers will lift up the needs of their patients and secure their own futures in the process.”
Despite the important role of PCAs, which Wexner management calls “integral,” these front-line workers have gone for years without a voice on the job. Their colleagues at the Ohio Nurses Association (ONA), an affiliate of the AFT, have a contract with Wexner that ensures they are treated fairly. The IAM is teaming up with ONA to give PCAs the same opportunity.
“We must recognize and embrace the power of union density, not only in nursing, but in the entire healthcare workforce,” said ONA President Rick Lucas. “This power enables healthcare workers to reallocate money from executive pockets to instead invest in safe and healthy work environments, safe staffing, and competitive wages for those who are performing the essential daily work necessary to safely care for our patients.”
In a sign of IAM’s growing power in the healthcare industry, the State of New Mexico Public Employee Labor Relations Board recently granted the IAM a certification of representation for nearly 100 healthcare workers at the University of New Mexico Sandoval Regional Medical Center in Rio Rancho, NM.
The Board certified the IAM to represent all full-time and regular part-time occupations, including but not limited to: Patient Access and Central Registration Representatives, Clerks, Facilities Service Maintenance Technicians, Food Service Workers, Housekeepers and more.
Learn more about the PCA campaign at PCAUnion.org.