Blowing the whistle on the county’s failure to keep our community safe and healthy, Santa Clara County workers held a press conference on Thursday calling on elected officials to invest in frontline quality services and put Community First.
See media coverage:
- KPIX (CBS): KPIX 5 News Early Edition, Aug. 22, 5:00 a.m.
- KPIX (CBS): KPIX 5 News Early Edition, Aug. 22, 6:00 a.m.
- KPIX (CBS): KPIX 5 News, Aug. 22, 6:00 p.m.
- ABC 7 News, Aug. 22, 6:00 p.m.
- ABC 7 News, Aug. 22, 7:00 p.m.
- CBS San Francisco Bay Area – 911 Dispatchers In Santa Clara County Threaten To Strike, Aug. 22
- SanJoseInside.com – Strike Imminent? County’s Health, Dispatch Workers Go Public with Grievances, Aug. 22
- KPIX (CBS): KPIX 5 News, Aug. 22, 11:00 p.m.
- KPIX (CBS): KPIX 5 News Early Edition, Aug. 23, 6:00 a.m.
- KPIX (CBS): KPIX 5 News Early Edition, Aug. 23, 4:30 a.m.
“We are here today because our 911 services are in jeopardy. We are facing an emergency situation. Our emergency services are in jeopardy because the county is unable to recruit, train, and retain a cutting-edge workforce to serve our community,” said Ryan Noble, a senior county Communications Dispatcher.
County workers in the coming days will be holding a vote to set a strike date because the county is ignoring a looming crisis: It cannot recruit and retain skilled professionals to deliver the quality services our community depends on.
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“The county’s retention rate for physical therapists is only 22%, lower than all other Bay Area hospitals. In three years, there have been 15 vacancies out of 42 full-time equivalent jobs,” said Karen Smit, a Respiratory Therapist. “The retention rate of pharmacists is only 54%. Over the last two years, 15 pharmacists have left for higher-paying jobs elsewhere.”
This poses a huge challenge when the county faces a deadline to implement health care reform and making sure everyone has access to quality affordable health care.
“We live and work in the heart of Silicon Valley and we should be recruiting and retaining a cutting-edge workforce that can serve our community,” said Luisa Blue, Chief Elected Officer of SEIU Local 521. “If the county is not willing to invest in quality public services and a cutting-edge workforce, then the county is giving us no other option but to strike.”
Also at the press conference in support were Dr. Russel Kosik, a Radiology Resident at Valley Medical Center and Max Zarzana, with Government Attorneys Association. Dr. Kosik addressed the need to recruit highly qualified physicians-in-training, especially during the expansion of heath care access, to ensure the highest quality patient care.
Photo slideshow on Flickr: