Enloe RNs to Greet Opening of New Tower with Message to the Public
‘It’s Not the Building that Cares for Patients’
When Enloe Medical Center holds the grand opening of its new Magnolia Tower Saturday, the hospital’s registered nurses will be on hand with an additional message for the public: Congratulations, but the hospital needs to do a much better job treating the nurses who care for the patients going into those buildings, too.
What: Enloe RNs to greet public at opening of Magnolia Tower
When: Saturday, July 23, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Magnolia and 5th streets, Chico
Nurses will be handing out leaflets to update the public — including current and future patients who may have need for hospital care in the new tower or elsewhere at Enloe — of the RN’s ongoing fight for a fair contract to ensure that RNs can provide the highest quality of care for Enloe patients.
The California Nurses Association/National Nurses United represents 700 RNs at Enloe.
“Nurses here are proud of our hospital and excited about the new facility,” said Enloe RN David Welch, “but we want the public to know that our management is not treating us well in negotiations and to remind them that it's not the building that cares for them when they are sick, it's the nurses."
The RNs have been meeting with management for eight months in efforts to achieve a new collective bargaining agreement, but remain divided on some key issues, including assurance they can receive quality health coverage upon retirement, a fair compensation package, and limits on unilateral changes management can impose on RNs that affect their ability to provide safe care.
Currently the hospital does not contribute to nurses’ health coverage when they retire after years of caring for Enloe patients. Their jobs are physically demanding and many nurses are unable to work all the way to Medicare age, RNs say. They are asking for management to contribute to a retiree health plan.
On wages, the RNs say they are falling farther behind other area hospitals, and are seeking pay equity.
On management’s unilateral changes, the RNs say many Enloe RNs have had their lives turned upside down by changes in work schedules or duties that make their job very different than the job for which they were hired. They’ve seen good experienced nurse with years of service forced into early retirement when management forcibly assigned them new duties they did not feel they could safely handle.
The RNs will be asking community residents for their support.