Santa Clara County Employee Unions Warn that Staff Cuts Could Be ‘Dangerous’

Unions representing Santa Clara County emergency dispatchers, nurses, physicians, medical assistants and social service workers throughout Santa Clara County warn that job cuts and elimination of some vacant positions in county government could have “dangerous impacts on service and patient care.”

In a joint press conference last week, representatives of the Registered Nurses Professional Association, Valley Physicians Group and Service Employees International Local 521 said the county should add, not cut, money for frontline workers in the county's social services, health,, sherriff, behavioral health, registrar, assessor and planning departments.

Laura Villarreal, a SEIU 521 Member and Sr. 9-1-1 Dispatcher with County Communications, said, “The county’s recommended budget currently calls for the deletion of seven vacancies within County Communication. The truth is, all of these unfilled positions are critical to building a stronger and more prepared department.”

Villarreal said that for years, dispatchers have had to work mandatory overtime because of staff shortages.

“How does eliminating vacancies bring us any closer to meeting the mission statement of Santa Clara County,” asked Dr. Rachel Ruiz. “By eliminating essential jobs, patient care will undoubtedly suffer, and safe staffing will be compromised even further. Data have shown time and time again that inadequate staffing leads to poor patient outcomes, including death.”

“We are one of the richest counties in the state, and we’re suggesting to delete critical positions while dealing with a staffing crisis - this cannot be the answer,” said Allan Kamara, a county ER nurse and nurses’ union president. “It’s unacceptable that families are required to wait hours to receive healthcare.”



  1. We were one of the richest County, but thanks to our liberal spending politicians. Look at what Newsom did with the State budget. How did you like the “heroes pay” that we didn’t get?

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