Press Release

Central Valley RNs and Community Leaders Join Hands with Memorial Nurses in Support of CNA

MODESTO—Sutter Memorial Medical Center Modesto registered nurses will hold a rally Tuesday in a show of support for the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU), prior to a federally supervised election scheduled for the 900 RNs to take place June 26 and 27. 

The nurses will be joined by CNA/NNU-represented RNs from hospitals across the Central Valley who will underscore the gains they made by having a collective bargaining agreement that include safe patient care protections and enhanced recruitment and retention of skilled experienced nurses, and encourage Modesto nurses to do the same by voting for CNA representation.

Key issues cited by the nurses that led to their organizing effort include inadequate RN-to-patient staffing and requirements that RNs work in clinical areas without the appropriate clinical expertise and orientation, both of which are a risk to patient safety, and hospital respect for RNs and their voice in patient care decisions.

What:              Get-Out-The-Vote Rally for a Voice with CNA

When:             Tuesday, June 24, 2014, 11:00 a.m.

Where:            Modesto Memorial Medical Center   

“As nurses we must have the right to collectively bargain for patient care protections,” said Romel Mathias, a Memorial RN who works in the recovery room. “We are their voice. We have learned over the years that only through having a professional nurses union will our opinions be respected and our proposals for patient care improvements become reality.”

“Kaiser RNs bargain with maximum power as a system with 18,000 RNs from 21 facilities,” said Amy Glass, a Kaiser Modesto intensive care unit RN, and an elected member of the CNA/NNU Board of Directors.  “We can also raise standards by having all three major Modesto hospitals working together to making our hometown an attractive place for RNs to come and stay and care for our patients in our community.”

The RNs have had to overcome many violations of federal law committed by Sutter management throughout the campaign. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has cited the facility on multiple occasions for violations including telling nurses they couldn’t distribute information about CNA/NNU, interrogating RNs about their union activities, and directing nurses not to discuss the union with coworkers.

“The nearly 40 unions that make up the Stanislaus/Tuolumne Central Labor Council have stood by Sutter Memorial Medical Center RNs throughout their two-year organizing campaign,” said Astrid Zuniga, secretary-treasurer of the council.  “We are thrilled to be here with the nurses today, and will be here to support them throughout their first contract campaign after they win their election.”

CNA/NNU is the largest and fastest-growing professional organization of direct-care registered nurses in the nation, representing 185,000 RNs across the country in 300 facilities. In the Modesto area, CNA/NNU represents RNs at Kaiser Permanente and Doctors Medical Center. CNA/NNU also represents more than 6,000 RNs at 16 Sutter facilities throughout Northern California.