Union History

Patient Advocates at the Bedside and Beyond

1972

UNAC BEGINS

The United Nurses Associations of California (UNAC) is born as an all-RN union, with the philosophy that RNs should represent RNs.

CIVILIAN NURSES JOIN

RNs at the Naval Medical Center in Balboa Park vote to join UNAC. In 1980, nurses at Jerry L. Pettis Memorial VA Medical Center in Loma Linda vote the same way, increasing the number of UNAC members caring for current and former military personnel.

1974

UNAC GROWS

Congress amends labor laws, giving health care employees the right to form unions; hundreds of RNs in hospitals across Southern California vote to join UNAC.

 

1977, 1980

UNAC NURSES FIGHT BACK

UNAC Nurses strike Southern California Kaiser Permanente hospitals regarding quality patient care concerns and fair and equitable compensation.

1980

UNAC LOOKS TO THE FUTURE

UNAC members vote to expand membership clause to include all health care professions.

1986

AFTER A PROTRACTED LEGAL BATTLE

St. Francis RNs join UNAC.

1988

UNAC ADDS HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS

Fountain Valley RNs, clinical lab scientists, physical and occupational therapists, pharmacists, case managers, speech therapists and social workers vote to join UNAC, expanding the types of health care workers in our union.

1988, 1989

UNAC GROWS STRONGER

Building strength by affiliating with a national union, UNAC joins forces with the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees (NUHHCE) in 1988. The next year, UNAC members vote to affiliate with AFSCME and the AFL-CIO. More than 45,000 AFSCME nurses then join forces to form the United Nurses of America.

1992

UNAC EXPANDS INTO GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL DISTRICT

Nurses at Bear Valley Community Hospital, part of a government-run hospital district, vote to join UNAC/UHCP, adding government nurses to our largely private sector union.

1996

UNAC MAKES HISTORY

UNAC organizes more than 2,500 RNs at Sharp Healthcare in the largest single RN bargaining unit in history, defeating Columbia-HCA’s plan to acquire Sharp.

1998-2000

HISTORIC LABOR MANAGEMENT PARTNERSHIP

UNAC members vote to join the Labor Management Partnership (LMP) with Kaiser Permanente. The LMP provides a card-check organizing agreement.

1999

UNAC GETS A NEW NAME

UNAC members vote to change the union’s name to UNAC/UHCP (Union of Health Care Professionals), recognizing that UNAC also represents non-RN health care professionals.

2000-2005

PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS JOIN KAISER AFFILIATES

Physician Assistants at Fontana, Orange County, Panorama City, Riverside, South Bay, San Diego, Sunset, and West LA Kaiser locations become UNAC/UHCP members and join the existing nurse affiliates.

2001

SUPPORT FOR SAFE STAFFING RATIOS

Working in Partnership, Kaiser Permanente announces its support for industry-leading nurse staffing ratios developed by UNAC/UHCP and other unions – coming out for better ratios long before state regulators.

2002

OPTOMETRISTS GET A VOICE ON THE JOB

Optometrists throughout Kaiser Permanente join UNAC/UHCP and become the first non-RN affiliate. KPASCO wins a voice on the job, a fair pay structure and significant raises.

2011

UNAC/UHCP WELCOMES KAISER SPECIALTY GROUP

UNAC/UHCP successfully organizes professional Kaiser group including case managers, educators, midwives, and wound ostomy RNs.

BEVERLY RNs VOTE TO JOIN UNAC/UHCP COMMUNITY HOSPITAL AFFILIATES

The Beverly contract is signed in 2012, bringing UNAC/UHCP’s community hospital tally to five: Garden Grove in 1975, Lakewood in 2002 and Parkview in 2009, as well as Bear Valley Community Hospital.

2012

UNAC/UHCP PUSHES TO STRENGTHEN STAFFING RATIOS

UNAC/UHCP takes SB 1246 all the way to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk, where the bill to put teeth in the staffing laws is vetoed. New regulations are written as a result of UNAC/UHCP’s efforts.

2013

AN ALL-THERAPIST AFFILIATE ADDS TO THE BURGEONING NUMBER OF UNAC/UHCP HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS

Kaiser physical, occupational and recreation therapists join UNAC/UHCP.

2014

UNAC/UHCP JOINS WORKPLACE VIOLENCE PREVENTION CAMPAIGN

Along with health care professionals from across the spectrum, UNAC/UHCP members testify at Cal/OSHA as regulations are drafted to solve this decades-long problem.

2015

PHARMACISTS JOIN UNAC/UHCP

Kaiser Southern California pharmacists vote to join UNAC/UHCP, restore their pensions and win improvements in their facilities.

CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR SIGNS UNAC/UHCP-SPONSORED SB 327

Governor Jerry Brown signs SB 327 to protect the 12 hour shift for all California RNs.

2016

UNAC/UHCP CLOSES THE CIRCLE

Twenty years after organizing, SPNN nurses win a historic campaign to achieve union membership for all new Sharp nurses and huge wage increases to retain and recruit experienced RNs.