The Alameda County Medical Center Board of Trustees meeting reminded me of Deep Space Nine, not the space bar scene, the scene where everyone is in suspended animation. At one point I counted two board members and nine managers, all-sleeping.
The meeting got moved to Fairmont to discourage attendance and two different versions of the Power Point presentation were provided: the complete detailed package for managers and the dumbed-down version for line staff. I tried to get the thick packet from a nurse executive but she got surely and I don’t mess with people in tight shoes.
There was lots brag and gag about money saved, but people came because of the layoffs. Sheriff Plummer looked absolutely festive with his two commanders and three deputies. He doesn’t go anywhere without a security perimeter. No wonder he’s 40 million short this year, talk about fat and waste. He’s not laying anyone off he’ll just shake down the supes for the cash up front. Like we should be doing. While the rest of the county’s “movers and shakers” are dividing up the county funds the Medical Center is busy cutting off its own fingers and toes.
So here’s the damages, 60 United Healthcare Workers West jobs, 1 SEIU 535 job and 31 SEIU 616 jobs. They also propose cutting 16 managers union and non-union. The talk was all about money-“green dollars”. Dollars and cents, this Board of Trustees is all about the budget. They didn’t ask any questions about care, about quality about how taking things apart affects patients or morale. It’s a one-dimensional picture, flat monochrome and poorly composed.
Charlie Ridgell (UHW), Kay Eisenhower (Vote Health) and Wayne Templeton (SEIU 616) all got up and spoke with insight about the hospital. The president of the Board, Ben Tate, was openly rude to Charlie Ridgell who represents the 60 workers about to loose their jobs. This Board has a shocking amount of distain for the people who provide the care in the county hospital. If they think so little of us, I hate to think what they think of our patients. This sorry collection of wannabes, never-weres and has-beens couldn’t build a sandcastle, we need to get out from under this dead weight or we’ll slip into an endless cycle of downsizing.