CPMC deal gets warm welcome despite some shortcomings

Mediator Lou Giraudo (at podium) announced the deal between CPMC and city officials on March 5.
Mike Koozmin

Even though the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the term sheet for the California Pacific Medical Center's hospital deal this week, comments from the supervisors and the general public indicated there are still a few outstanding issues before the project returns to the board for final approval, probably in July.

As the Guardian recently reported, CPMC's longstanding contract impasse with the California Nurses Association remains the biggest sticking point even for many labor-community coalition members who helped hammer out the deal that was announced last week. James Tracy of the Community Housing Partnership told the supervisors that he was almost ready to uncork the champagne and celebrate, “but I'm holding off until there is labor peace with the nurses.”

New District 5 Sup. London Breed went on extended tirade ripping into the hard-won compromise plan, voicing support for the nurses, wanting more specifics on how affordable housing money will be used, calling for more money for job training to support the plan's local hiring standards (“I need to know how this is going to transfer into support for Western Addition residents,” and concluding that she's generally supportive of the deal but “I will reserve final judgment.”

Calvin Welch of the Council of Community Housing Organizations echoed Breed's concern that the $36.5 million in affordable housing funds will be paid into the Mayor's Office of Housing's general pot rather than be set aside for specific projects. “We are very concerned with how this multi-faceted program will unfold,” Welch said, asking that COCHO be included in decisions about how the money from CPMC gets used.

Sup. Scott Wiener decried how the new deal's $14 million in transportation impact fees is 30 percent less than the ill-fated previous deal – the result of a significantly smaller footprint of the Cathedral Hill Hospital – saying, “Once again transit comes out on the short end.”

The change called for by more supervisors than any other is an increase in job training funds to support the guarantee that 30 percent of construction jobs and 40 percent of permanent entry level jobs go to San Franciscans. Even though job training funds were doubled to $4 million under the new agreement, some supervisors and activists say that's not enough.

“That's a big improvement, but it's still not enough, given the type of training needed for low-income San Franciscans to be able to work in the hospitals,” Gordon Mar of San Franciscans For Healthcare, Housing, Jobs and Justice told the Guardian.

Yet even with all these gripes and picking of nits, which will play out as the development agreement is prepared and goes through the Planning Commission approval process starting in May, the consensus across the ideological spectrum seems to be that this is a good deal for the city that is likely to be approved if CPMC can reach a contract with CNA

And all hailed it as a vast improvement over the deal CPMC cut last year with the Mayor's Office, offering a lesson for city officials who are now negotiating other big deals, such as the Warriors Arena proposal. As Sup. John Avalos said at the hearing, “I remember a statement form the Mayor's Office last year that this is the best we can get. I think we always need to challenge that.”


I don't much like this deal but if the poobah's really couldn't do any better than this then let's just get the damn thing built.

Why do these things have to be so tough to do here?

Posted by Guest on Mar. 15, 2013 @ 3:28 pm

at a picnic is disgusting. Breed wants hers, Welch wants his, the nurse's union wants theirs. What's missing here? Concern for anyone or any group other than special interests.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Mar. 15, 2013 @ 3:38 pm

Very profitable nonprofit. Charges more than any other hospital in town for the same services.

Posted by swamped on Mar. 15, 2013 @ 11:23 pm

How quickly they forget. CPMC damn near closed St Lukes, and the Guardian couldn't be bothered to do much more than occasional coverage of the fight. CPMC stripped St Lukes of services and capabilities. Now its going to be smaller still.

We have a crisis in this city: there are nowhere hear enough mental health services, and beds for psych patients are scarce as hen's teeth. CPMC took psych out of St Lukes and isnt putting it back in. What a great deal for the city!

Posted by swamped on Mar. 15, 2013 @ 11:22 pm

running uneconomic hospitals leads to uneconomic healthcare. If the city wants it that much then SFGH should buy the site from CPMC, and then let CPMC build the bigger hospital that we really need.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 16, 2013 @ 6:56 am

Uneconomic healthcare? I suppose that means healthcare that cares for all the people who need it without producing big profits, which we could actually use more of in this city, not less. "Economic" once meant maximizing the public good that can be derived from finite resources, but now it gets twisted to mean whatever produces the most spending and consumption in order to serve our masters on Wall Street. Wasteful medical spending and high healthcare inflation rates add to our Gross Domestic Product, which is seen as a good thing by economists and right-wingers, even if they couldn't be more "uneconomic" in terms of actually meeting human needs, showing what a sick system we live under.

Posted by steven on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 9:51 am

would not want to see hospitals that cannot possibly fund themselves due to lacking critical mass? It doesn't help the poor at all if our hospitals are stuggling, since that emans they cannot afford so much charity and pro bono work.

Just as the affordable housing activists inexplicably oppose new build and supply, so the affordable healthcare activists inexplicably oppose bigger hospitals and the economies of scale that they can bring.

You can want affordability or NIMBY'ism, but not both.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 5:57 am

This is yet another example of death by a thousand tiny cuts.
There was nothing wrong with the original proposal.
Now we have a brand new hospital with less beds than the one it replaces which equals less services to the people who currently depend on the pac heights campus.
But really, who cares as long as we knock 30 feet off cathedral hill to appease the build nothing anywhere ever people, and add some beds to a hospital which is already seriously underutilized.

The priorities in this town couldnt be more fu*ked up

Posted by Erick Brooks on Mar. 17, 2013 @ 9:30 am

We support Dear Leader Campos and any position he takes on any issue.


Down with stupidity!

Up with thoughtfulness!!

The REAL San Francisco Anti-Stupidity Campaign.

Posted by The REAL San Francisco Anti-Stupidity Campaign on Mar. 17, 2013 @ 11:18 pm

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