University of Utah Health workers form a union
Nov 15, 2023, 4:24 PM | Updated: Nov 16, 2023, 7:23 am
SALT LAKE CITY — Health care workers at the University of Utah are forming a union.
The announcement comes as hundreds of frontline workers say they need representation. They say the move will improve their working conditions and staffing, which in turn would mean better patient care and patient safety.
University of Utah Health said they never received notification about a union forming and may not be able to work with one.
“We had frustrations, we had issues that we wanted addressed,” Taylor Almond said to KSL TV.
Almond is one of the founders of Utah Health Workers United Local No. 7765. He says forming the union comes after failed attempts to come to reasonable terms with U of U Health.
The union is what’s called a “pre-majority union” which, according to www.workerorganizing.org means workers act like a union even in circumstances where they do not have a contract or where winning one seems unrealistic. The group acts like a union but there’s no legal obligation for a company to recognize it.
Response from U of U Health
In a released statement, U of U Health said, “U of U Health is prohibited from recognizing organizations for purposes of collective bargaining. That said, we are committed to transparency, to listening, and to collaboration. We welcome the opportunity to work together with our teams to continually improve working environments and to discuss any concerns.”
Regardless, Almond believes the hundreds of people who have signed up send a strong signal to U of U Health.
“In the state of Utah, public employers do not need to recognize unions. And if they don’t have to, then they won’t,” Almond said. “As they said in their statement, but we do believe that with strength in numbers, our voice will be louder.”