Thursday, April 20, 2006

Let's just stick with Joe Hill for now

Now that the SEIU is suing El Camino Hospital for release of executive contracts and other information, it may be time to come up with a better chant than ""Try to sell our union short/See you in the labor court."

How SEIU comes up with its slogans, or knows when to instruct members to start marching in a circle, could be its own story. This one has a few things going for it, mainly that it touches on the hospital union's suspicion that its members could benefit materially from forcing the publicly-elected hospital board to act like, well, a publicly-elected board. On the other hand, it's a little disconnected in between the two lines, and I doubt this case will go to a labor court as opposed to a more regular kind.

The suit is similar to the lawsuit the Mountain View Voice brought against El Camino a year and a half ago, after disgruntled doctors suggested asking for executive contracts, knowing the inevitable refusal would make the hospital look bad.

The hospital, which said it needed to protect details of its operations for competitive reasons, eventually gave up virtually everything the paper requested, but refused to admit any obligation to do so. Instead, the district claimed that it has discretion in determining when it does and does not have to behave like a public agency.

Let's hope the SEIU case answers this question. It will be good civic education for all of us.

1 comment:

pogblog said...

"The hospital, which said it needed to protect details of its operations for competitive reasons . . ." (Emphasis mine.)

What a strange world in which a hospital has 'competitive reasons.'

'Send me your wounded and hurt and terrified that I may make a tidy profit.' Thus spake El Camino Hospital. Makes the skin crawl -- a condition they cannot fix, I'll wager.

El camino to Hell is paved with greedy intentions.