Workers at Philadelphia’s scandal-ridden LGBT health-care provider, Mazzoni Center, have won a vote to unionize.
Mazzoni leaders have been scrambling to restore order to the health center, which provides vital services in particular to low-income, HIV-positive, and transgender clients, since the medical director, chief executive, and several board members all departed the agency this year. That shake-up followed allegations of sexual misconduct by former medical director Rob Winn.
“This is a milestone in our struggle to make Mazzoni Center the agency deserved by LGBTQIA communities and the city of Philadelphia,” said Riley Marcano, a case manager, in a statement provided by SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania. “We are proud of the grassroots leadership that got us this far, and are deeply grateful to the community members, patients, clients, and city officials who stood shoulder to shoulder with us and offered us support.”
According to one staffer, the vote was 51 in favor of the union and 34 against.
“That’s 40 percent of the staff that isn’t down with it,” the Mazzoni employee said. “It’s status quo right now for at least six months to a year or however long the first contract takes. There are people that will leave if and when that contract is signed. I really believe in the work I’m doing. But I don’t know what the union will do. I’ll tell you one thing: My resumé’s updated.”