Denver Health employees seek to form union

Healthcare workers at Denver Health seek to form a union, citing dissatisfaction with workplace protections and executive pay, according to the Communications Workers of America.

The new union, Denver Health Workers United, would be an affiliate of the CWA.

The CWA said it seeks to organize members from Denver Health and fight for "workers' rights, institutional change, and meaningful public investment to improve patient health outcomes."

Although workers don't have the right to negotiate a formal collective bargaining agreement, since Denver Health is a public entity, the workers seeking unionization say as membership grows they can advocate for change more effectively, according to The Denver Post. The CWA said, "The more people who voluntarily join and participate in the union, the more power they have."

The unionization announcement comes after Denver Health executives received 2019 performance bonuses one week after front-line workers were asked to take unpaid leave or cut their hours amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Denver Health Medical Center CEO Robin Wittenstein has apologized to the hospital's employees for the timing of incentive bonuses. Nurses are criticizing Denver Health Medical Center's decision to make the payments.

Some staff have reported not receiving appropriate personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the CWA.

Denver Health representatives declined to comment May 5 to The Denver Post, citing a need to better understand the union push and employees' concerns.

Becker's Hospital Review reached out for comment from Denver Health and will update as necessary. 

 

More articles on human resources:
Unions urge U of Illinois health system to boost protections after 2nd COVID-19 employee death
Workers at Nevada HCA hospitals protest over working conditions
Judge dismisses union lawsuit against Montefiore over working conditions

 

 

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