856 helps secure millions to keep St. Rose Hospital open

Teamsters 856 was once again instrumental in securing millions of dollars in funding that will help keep St. Rose Hospital’s doors open.

400 Teamsters 856 members serve the community at St. Rose Hospital in Hayward.

Four hundred Teamsters 856 members serve the community in more than 60 different types of jobs at St. Rose Hospital in Hayward.

The Hayward facility, where 400 Local 856 members serve the community, has struggled financially over the last several years. However, with the assistance of Teamsters 856’s advocacy at the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, the hospital has been able to obtain tens of millions of dollars in federal, state and local grants since 2014 to ensure the facility can continue to operate.

St. Rose is a ‘safety net’ hospital – most of its patients are low-income, and more than half receive health care coverage through Medi-CAL, the state’s public health insurance program. By treating this section of the community, the hospital provides much-needed relief to other area hospitals that otherwise might not be able to handle increased patient volume.

The latest funding, $14.5 million – a combination of local money with federal matches – was unanimously approved by the Alameda Board of Supervisors on March 21.

“St. Rose Hospital and the Teamsters who work there provide vital health care to members of the community,” said Matthew Mullany, Teamsters 856 representative. “Their work is crucial to keeping the traditionally underserved healthy and so it’s important that the hospital can continue to stay open.”

St. Rose Teamster 856 Shop Steward Judy Rodrigues has logged a lot of hours on this cause over the last several years, including helping to elect politicians who see St. Rose’s value and spending time speaking at city council and board of supervisors’ meetings to advocate for the hospital.

“As Teamsters through our political power we’ve been able to make a real difference,” said Rodrigues, who also serves on the Teamsters 856 Executive Board. “Our voices matter and we’re being heard. “We’ve been waiting for this from Alameda County for a while, it’s good to know that the County Board of Supervisors kept their promise to St. Rose in allocating those funds.”

Alameda County Board of Supervisor Member Richard Valle, who has long been a champion of St. Rose, has created a sustainability taskforce in hopes of a long-term fix for the facility’s budget deficits.

“We look forward to working with Supervisor Valle on a plan to make sure that St. Rose and the Local 856 members who work there can continue to treat the community’s health needs for years to come,” said Teamsters 856 Political Director Trish Blinstrub.