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Psychiatric Technicians Picket Metropolitan State Hospital May 8 Over Dangerous Overtime, Blatant Contract Violations
[May 02, 2014]

Psychiatric Technicians Picket Metropolitan State Hospital May 8 Over Dangerous Overtime, Blatant Contract Violations

--(Business Wire)--

California Association of Psychiatric Technicians:

WHAT:       Informational picket and rally to protest Metropolitan State Hospital's unsafe overtime policies and union contract violations.
WHERE: Metropolitan State Hospital, 11401 Bloomfield Ave., Norwalk, Calif.; main gate.
WHEN: Thursday, May 8; noon - 1 p.m.
WHO: Members of the California Association of Psychiatric Technicians and others concerned about out-of-control overtime and contract violations; Psych Techs wearing red at other state hospitals, developmental centers and correctional facilities to show solidarity.
VISUALS: Several dozen union members wearing red shirts and waving picket signs.
WHY: California Association of Psychiatric Technicians members working at Metropolitan State Hospital are taking a stand and hitting the streets May 8 to protest MSH's unsafe staffing policies and contract violations.

Misguided February staffing-policy changes have resulted in massive overtime increases for the facility's 391 CAPT members: Involuntary overtime numbers for January 2014 -- before a new overtime policy was implemented for this group of direct-care nursing professionals -- were 1,891 hours; for February 2014, 4,740 hours; and for March 2014, 3,769 hours.

When Psychiatric Technicians asked to meet with management about safety and staffing concerns at the state forensic hospital -- plus the union's 10 related grievances filed on numerous forced 16-hour shifts -- management defied union requests and state labor law by refusing to meet as well as by openly violating further contract rights.

"We've tried to come up with solutions, but management responds with the most draconian measures possible," said CAPT Metropolitan Chapter President Eric Soto, PT. "We work with some of the most challenging individuals and always need to be on our A-game, but this out-of-control overtime is exhausting and unsafe."

CAPT's board of directors - which includes Psychiatric Technicians from across California -- also voted to issue a formal "red-tag (News - Alert)" sanction against Metropolitan State Hospital. The sanction warns interested parties from applying for jobs at the facility and blasts MSH for contract violations that will not be tolerated. Psych Techs at other state facilities will be wearing red May 8 in solidarity with their Metropolitan coworkers who provide therapeutic, rehabilitative and nursing services to Californians with severe mental illnesses.

The California Association of Psychiatric Technicians is the elected union representative for 7,000 state-employed Psychiatric Technicians and related workers who provide compassionate, professional mental health and developmental services for the Californians in our care. CAPT also is the professional organization for all of California's 14,000 licensed Psychiatric Technicians.

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