Six months of work come to fruition with the 100% ratification of these Teamsters at Watsonville Community Hospital

This Tuesday evening, the teamsters at Watsonville Community Hospital held a ratification meeting, and they voted unanimously to accept the new contract offer.
This has been a long-running affair. Three years ago, the Hospital was in financial trouble under previous leadership, preventing substantive increases for its employees at that time. However, things have changed as the Hospital is now under new leadership and ownership.

“We spent six months working to improve wages and benefits for our members and came out successful in our efforts.” said Teamster 853 President Steven Lua, “This road has been long and winding. Congratulations to these members. They have really earned this victory!”

Teamsters helping Teamsters in Santa Cruz and Monterey County: The history of how Parajo Valley community residents teamed up with Teamsters Local 853, other locals, politicians, and community leaders to save the Watsonville Community Hospital.

The Watsonville Community Hospital is the go-to facility for many residents in the Parajo Valley community. A community made up of parts of Santa Cruz County to the north and Monterey County to the south. This hospital has been a mainstay in the community. In 2022, the “for-profit” hospital filed for bankruptcy and faced a shutdown, which would have been a devastating loss to the community. So Local Unions, including Teamsters Local 853, several area politicians, and community advocates, successfully lobbied to create a specific Parajo Valley Health District to carve out funding to publically save and run the hospital. And in 2022, the bill was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom, and the hospital was saved.

The very same Parajo Valley community is home to many Teamster 853 food processing and warehousing workers. These Teamster 853 women and men process and pack the fruits and vegetables in Watsonville for brand names like Green Giant and Driscolls. That food is then shipped all across the country.

So today we not only celebrate this great new contract for the Watsonville Community Hospital Teamsters, but also the success of the lobbying to keep the hospital running and supporting a community that so many other Teamster 853 members live and work in.

If you are a Monterey or Santa Cruz County resident who voted to approve the funding measure in the last election, we want to express our heartfelt gratitude for your role in strengthening this community of Teamsters.