Charmaine Sunshine Morales, RN, Elected UNAC/UHCP Secretary
“I try my best to be the solution to any problem,” says Charmaine Morales, RN, UNAC/UHCP’s new Secretary. “My personal growth and union leadership development path have been made possible by saying yes. By getting involved. But most of all by listening.”
Charmaine has only been a UNAC/UHCP member for six years, but she’s risen fast, from a stand-out steward to Political Action Chair, 2012 Contract Specialist, and the affiliate Parliamentarian. During the 2011 contract battle at St. Francis, Charmaine organized an entire bus of South Bay members to picket with the St. Francis nurses, had they gone out on strike which luckily they did not. Instead, Charmaine organized a picket line with nurses at Long Beach Memorial Hospital, and led her affiliate’s work supporting UFCW’s local members during their contract battles in the summer of 2012. “Wow, that was fun!” she says. She’s been an innovator, instituting text alerts to keep members informed.
Through her growth from nurse in Med-Surg, Telemetry and Oncology, to union activist, “I changed,” she says. “I found out that I was born to help others. I’m not afraid; I can rise to the challenges.” Last November, her courage met its greatest test to date, when her job was targeted by Kaiser for elimination. She met that challenge head-on. Last December, she led the organization of over 700 people to walk the picket line in front of Kaiser South Bay to protest the position eliminations. “It showed me that I was part of a strong union family, and made me understand that I was not alone. And I have worked tirelessly to help others through this challenge.”
Charmaine brings her fearlessness, creativity and attention to detail to her new job. “Secretary is more than just the basics like taking minutes; maintaining all records for UNAC/UHCP; keeping constitutions organized; and ensuring all elections are run properly. Those are just a small part of the job. What I feel I can bring is a new definition of the type of person who should be in the role for now and for the future. I might seem small and quiet at first, but never underestimate this shorty. Like UNAC/UHCP, I am mighty.”