UNAC/UHCP & Dialysis Caregivers Move Patient Safety Bill to the Next Step
Dialysis RNs and PCTs from Fresenius and Davita traveled to Sacramento twice in the last two weeks with UNAC/UHCP to lobby and testify for the Dialysis Patient Safety Act (SB 349), which sets ratios for RNs, techs and social workers in chronic dialysis clinics, as well as transition times and annual facility inspections.
The California State Senate’s Health Committee voted 7-2 in favor of the bill on March 30, which moves it to the next step.
This is a huge victory for dialysis workers and our patients!
Next Step: Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, date TBA.
“UNAC really opened doors for us in Sacramento. It’s nice to know they have our backs.
“We met with Senators and their staff and testified in the Health Committee hearing. Some have family members in dialysis. There’s a lot of support for what we do, and they understand the need to have patient safety and safe working conditions.
“Thank you UNAC for sending me to Sacramento! Now I know how important it is that we engage our legislators.”
—Russell Croteau, RN
“For our patients, dialysis is not just a treatment. It’s their life. Many are parents of young children. Or they have spouses at home. They have such courage. We treat them like family. This bill is about saving their lives by ensuring they get safe, good-quality care.”
—Ronnie Batino, RN - Testified before Health Committee hearing 3/29
“It’s not lost on me that the vast majority of the opposition [to SB 349] was from administrators, i.e., management. That the folks in support of the bill were the folks who do the job every day...We need as a society to decide what’s important. And is it profits? Or is it making sure that these very vulnerable people in our society are taken care of?”
—Connie Leyva, State Senator - Comments before voting Yes on SB 349
“This is the beginning of change.”
—Tony Hill, PCT, after Health Committee vote
UNAC/UHCP has unique credibility as a nurses’ union in Sacramento, with a long track record of big wins.
UNAC/UHCP was a leader in winning California’s landmark safe nurse-to-patient ratio law in 1999. In their Southern California Kaiser RN contract they’ve won ratios exceeding state law.
A 2015 court decision threatened to end the right to a 12 hour shift for all California RNs. UNAC/UHCP passed a bill to preserve it.
Cal/OSHA’s new regulations to reduce violence against health care workers go into effect April 1, 2017. UNAC/UHCP was a leader in winning these new safety standards.
Call UNAC/UHCP at 909-451-0777 to get involved in winning dialysis patient safety.