Local 856 members fight outsourcing at Marin General Hospital

The hospital’s outsourcing plan has an unexpected end when members negotiate the addition of more full-time positions for Teamsters 856 members.

Marin General Hospital shop stewards from left to right: John Greenlaw (transporter), Kizzy Hamilton (transporter), Dino Luares (monitor tech), Brandon Taylor (environmental services), James Taylor (nursing assistant)

The Teamsters 856 members in the Environmental Services (EVS) department at Marin General Hospital (MGH) take pride in keeping the hospital clean. The work they do every day is critical to the patient care experience because they ensure the hospital is a comfortable place for patients to be seen and receive treatment.

Earlier this year, MGH management came up with a plan that would disrupt the normal flow of the EVS team in the surgical department by outsourcing their work to an outside company.

The Hospital wanted to pilot a zone cleaning plan. But rather than extending the work to Local 856 members, the Hospital hired temporary workers.

“Outsourcing is bad because they aren’t allowing us to do our work,” said Brandon Taylor, a Local 856 shop steward at MGH. “Instead, it’s like they are trying to take our work away from us.”

Teamsters 856 is dedicated to fighting employers’ attempts to outsource because it is bad for working people.

“Outsourcing in all its forms is the result of poor management and destroys middle-class jobs, our communities, and the quality of products and level of services,” said Local 856 Secretary-Treasurer/Principal Officer Peter Finn.

Go to www.StandWith856.com to learn more about Teamsters 856’s fight against outsourcing.

When Brandon learned of management’s plan, he contacted his Local 856 representative, Matthew Mullany.

“They tried to outsource six jobs for eight to 12 weeks,” said Matthew. “We told management we would file a grievance because our members should be given the work.”

In response, MGH management reduced the number of positions they planned to outsource to two, but that wasn’t enough for Local 856. “Since our members were missing out on work that should have been theirs, we demanded overtime opportunities every day until the outsourcing was done,” explained Matthew.

The Hospital agreed, and members who were not working between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. — when the temporary workers work — were offered overtime. For members like Brandon, the extra overtime has been a game changer.

“I typically work from 1 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.,” said Brandon. “Now, I can come in at 9 a.m. and get four hours of overtime. It has definitely helped me with my bills.”

In addition, to the increased overtime opportunities, seven per diem positions were moved to full-time, which means seven members and their families will now receive full health care and pension benefits. On top of that, the Hospital will have to hire seven new per diem employees to replace the seven who were moved to full time.

“It’s a victory because we did not allow management to just shove something down our throats,” said Brandon. “We didn’t allow them to just outsource our work. We fought to make it work best for members right from the beginning.”

“This is what happens when shop stewards and members of the EVS group stick together and don’t give up,” said Matthew. “Because of them, in the end, we got everything we wanted.”