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Union trying to save jobs in health

The largest health care union in Massachusetts launched a media blitz yesterday, complete with television ads, aimed at protecting members’ jobs and highlighting the need for retraining those who do get axed at hospitals as the Patrick administration turns up the heat on cutting health care costs.

Dubbed the “Voices of Quality Care,” the campaign by 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is timed to coincide with a public forum today on health costs organized by the Patrick administration.

Veronica Turner, SEIU’s executive vice president, said that the union recognizes that sweeping changes in the payment system may mean that some workers will lose their jobs or need to be retrained, but that the union worries that policy makers have not focused on that aspect of cost-cutting.

“We want to make sure people pay attention to that,” Turner said. Health care is the state’s largest employment category, and the SEIU represents more than 40,000 workers in Massachusetts, including certified nursing assistants, lab technicians, radiologists, and patient care coordinators.

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posted in: Massachusetts
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