President’s Message – January 2014
We’ve come to the end of one year and the beginning of a new one, so it’s a good time to look back with pride at our 2013 accomplishments, and look ahead to our challenges in 2014.
Through our commitment to organizing we continued to gain strength in 2013. We added Kaiser Physical, Occupational and Recreation Therapists plus Staff Educators in February; then Physician Assistants at Kaiser Woodland Hills in November. We took on the challenge of organizing in three hospitals owned by the notorious anti-union employer Universal Health Services. In January we won at Corona; while the National Labor Relations Board intervened to postpone elections at Inland Valley and Rancho Springs, bringing charges against UHS for threats, interrogation and surveillance. Their elections were postponed until July and, held in a poisoned climate, accounted for our only 2013 loss—though UHS in December agreed to a settlement of the charges that reaffirms the rights of the nurses to organize. In 2014, we’ll continue to aggressively gather new members into our union.
In 2013 we continued to bring record numbers of members to every bargaining table. That member power won strong contracts in Fountain Valley, Lakewood and Garden Grove and set precedents that we’ll carry forward into 2014 at Sharp, St. Francis and Parkview. In May, we elected three new State Officers, who bring new ideas and decades of experience that will serve us well in 2014 and after. We immediately stepped in to raise and match funds for victims of Typhoon Haiyan in November. And because we know that the struggles of other workers affect our struggles and vice versa, UNAC/UHCP activists marched and rallied from Detroit to San Diego to the OC, IE and LA, with AFSCME, Walmart workers and others. In 2014, we will continue to stand up wherever, whenever and however we must to protect our contracts, our patients, and our communities in the ever-present struggles for quality health care, social justice, and workers’ rights.
Ken Deitz, RN