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Indybay Feature
Fri Oct 11 2019 (Updated 10/12/19)
Union Members Strike at Janus of Santa Cruz
Janus Workers Endure Poverty Wages Under Contract Imposed by Management
National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) members at Janus of Santa Cruz held their first-ever strike on September 26, after management imposed a first contract that did not remedy poverty wages that have forced many workers to find new jobs. In the nearly two years since Janus workers joined NUHW, more than 60 percent of them have left for other jobs. With its workforce in constant flux, state records show that Janus is serving fewer clients and forcing more of them to wait for services that were once immediately accessible, worsening Santa Cruz’s addiction crisis. Between 2016 and 2018, the number of people put on waiting lists for outpatient substance use treatment more than tripled, according to Janus’ filing with state regulators. The number of people placed on waiting lists for inpatient care nearly doubled over the same period.

Many front-line caregivers at Janus of Santa Cruz are struggling to survive on wages well below the county’s $16.85 hourly living wage rate. Last year, Janus employees worked with county officials to secure up to $500,000 in additional federal funding for Janus, but Janus executives have failed to take the necessary steps to maximize funding that could be used to pay workers a living wage. Janus was also recently cited by the National Labor Relations Board for retaliating against a worker, who is active in the union.

“Santa Cruz County taxpayers provide the majority of Janus’ funding, and we have a stake in making sure that Janus is operating in the best interests of its clients,” said Santa Cruz County Supervisor John Leopold, who walked the picket line. “With the high turnover of staff and reports of retaliation against employees, Janus needs to respect their employees and ensure that our county has the strongest team to help clients succeed.”

Read More: photo NUHW members strike Janus of Santa Cruz | calendar STRIKE at Janus of Santa Cruz | calendar Support Janus Workers at the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors

See Also: calendar Join Us on the Picket Line: Janus of Santa Cruz | photo Santa Cruz Drug Rehabilitation Workers Take Center Stage at Film Festival
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