Thirty-six contract respiratory therapists at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center (ARMC) ratified their first contract on Wednesday evening. They are the first medical contract group in San Bernardino County history to secure a collective bargaining agreement.
With their new memorandum of understanding, the group of respiratory therapists now have a grievance procedure and guaranteed pay increases, as well as first chance opportunity to become staff members at the hospital. Low levels of recruitment and retention at ARMC, the new Teamsters say, is hurting the quality of care provided for patients at the medical facility — but their first contract will help change this worrying state of affairs.
Thomas Seaton, a respiratory therapist who has been at ARMC for three years, says, “This first contract is a push in the right direction toward fixing our recruitment and retention issues and we’re excited to fight for more solutions in the future.”
The unit is adamant that this is only the beginning, and they’re ready to transform ARMC for the better in the coming years. Collective bargaining and collective power through Local 1932 will be key in keeping a high-level of patient care. “It’s exciting to know that now we’ll be sticking up for one another through our Union,” says Seaton. “We’ll be ready to negotiate with the County come 2019.”