#UNACUHCP2018 delegates were taken from tears to cheers and back again multiple times in the convention hall today. Together, we learned, were inspired and conducted union business.
The morning started with a series of continuing education workshops, after delegates cast their votes in the officer and board elections.
In Domestic Violence 101, educators from Laura’s House, an Orange County multi-service provider for abuse victims and their families, prepared UNAC/UHCP members to recognize abuse, direct resources and follow state reporting obligations for health care providers.
Other CE workshops included Workplace Violence and the Cal/OSHA Regulations—for which UNAC/UHCP led the fight; BRN Enforcement and Intervention Program; and Microbes and Us.
Heather Booth, a community and political organizer whose story runs from civil rights struggles in the sixties south through feminist organizing in the seventies, and with numerous steps in between leads up to the present day, engaged and energized our delegates and brought many to tears.
She told us how much her husband loved UNAC/UHCP. His name was Paul Booth, he was a longtime Executive Assistant to the President of AFSCME and worked on our affiliation with the parent union. He died unexpectedly in January.
“I really came here to say thank you for what you’ve done,” she said. “And thank you for what you’re going to do in the future.”
The afternoon featured a panel discussion on environmental justice and its impact on health care, with California Assemblymembers Miguel Santiago, District 53 and Monique Limon, District 37; Jane Carter, Labor Economist for AFSMCE International; Danny Feingold and David Sirota, the publisher of Capitol and Main, an online journal covering labor and California; and David Sirota, an investigative journalist for the publication.
The panelists discussed the intimate relationship between health care and the environment.
“Air quality, water quality, what people touch and feel and the impact it has on them, are first-hand lived experiences that you as health care professionals can talk about and help remediate,” said Assemblymember Limon.
More tears and cheers came with the showing of a video about our St. Francis Registered Nurses, with accounts from patients and families whose lives they’ve saved, highlighting the importance of the hospital as a trauma center in a poor community. When the SFRNA delegates came to the stage the delegates rose to give them a standing ovation.
They appealed for support as their hospital goes through bankruptcy. “It’s important,” said Scott Byington, RN, UNAC/UHCP board member and St. Francis ER nurse. “It’s what we’re about, saving lives. It’s what makes us who we are and makes us strong.”
The day wound down with reviews of legal victories from the last two years, including $581,788.48 won in back pay reinstatement settlements, and a judgement in favor of Chino Valley RNs against the hospital’s withdrawal of recognition for their union; approval of the UNAC/UHCP budget; and finally, announcement of the election results. The following officers were elected or re-elected:
- Denise Duncan, RN – President
- Elizabeth Hawkins, RN – State Secretary
- Board of Directors:
- Robin Borden, PharmD
- Nicole Lam, RN
- Scott Byington, RN
- Linda Morales, RN