President’s Message – January 2015
It’s time again to take stock of the year past and take the measure of the year to come.
Organizing. United Therapists of Southern California ratified their contract and became our newest affiliate last year. Meanwhile, Corona RNs won recognition of their union and hit the bargaining table to negotiate their first contract. Delegates at our convention adopted the ambitious goal of growing our union in the next ten years by the same amount we’ve grown in our first forty years.
Bargaining and Representation. We won a historic three-day strike at Parkview in 2014, with hundreds of Parkview nurses braving triple-digit heat to win the first-ever wage grid there. Our legal team took on more grievances, arbitrations and NLRB cases than ever before, continuing to rack up victories. St. Francis RNs began their fight to continue to provide community services in Lynwood. 2015 will see that win, plus Corona’s first contract, plus potentially six Kaiser contracts—the national agreement and up to five local agreements: RNs, NPs and PAs; optometrists; SCNSC; KPMWON and UTSC. RNs at Beverly Hospital will return to the bargaining table to hash out their second contract.
Wider Leadership. As we grow, we continue to assert our leadership in the wider world. In 2014 we won awards from AFSMCE at the state and national level for our PEOPLE activism. Our steady, years-long push to toughen staffing ratio enforcement continues to pay off, with Governor Brown instituting new penalties for hospitals’ patient care violations, and DPH instituting our plan to survey hospitals annually for compliance with staffing ratios. We adopted a trail-blazing anti-bullying policy as a union. We took on a leadership role in the campaign to protect health care professionals from violence in our workplaces—which we’ll continue to push until we can deliver improvements in safety. We expanded our scholarship programs and named them in recognition of three UNAC/UHCP foremothers: Kathy Sackman, RN; Sonia Moseley, NP; and Delima MacDonald, RN.
How did we win in 2014? Solidarity as a union, across professions, facilities and affiliates. In 2015, we’ll continue to win the very same way.
Ken Deitz, RN