For 20 years, my mom told me to become a nurse, but I never listened to her. I wanted to do my own thing, so I went into the business world. I got tired of all the layoffs. So I took an anatomy class. Within ten minutes I knew I’d be a nurse for the rest of my life. Serving sick people is one way of serving God. The paycheck is pretty good too.
My mom’s been an ICU nurse at Garden Grove since 1981. I would call when she was working at night and people were always nice to me. I went to the ER once. As Nery’s son I got great service. I got the opportunity to join the family of nurses at Garden Grove, and I haven’t regretted it.
I didn’t plan to become a union activist, but someone asked me to go the special convention in May, and I went to see what the union is all about. I saw the election process, and enjoyed meeting new people. When I was asked to join the bargaining team, I jumped at the chance. Now I get to talk to nurses in different departments, learn about their issues, and get closer to my Garden Grove family of nurses.
Before, I’d learn about the contract from my mom. For example, I didn’t know that if you get called in on your weekend off, you get a bonus. My mom said, you should thank the union for that. I hear some nurses complain about the union because they have to pay dues. I tell them our dues are low, and they’re going to a good cause: to better our contract, to better patient care, and to make us happier as nurses. A happy nurse is a good nurse. Trust in the union.