RNs Seek Vote for California Pacific Hospital RNs-Rally Sept. 10 for Fair Election
California Nurses Association Press Release, 9/6/13
RNs Seek Vote for California Pacific Hospital RNs
Rally Sept. 10 for Fair Election at One of Last Non-Union SF Hospitals
The California Nurses Association/National Nurses United Thursday asked the federal labor board to schedule a secret ballot election for union representation for 600 registered nurses at California Pacific Medical Center’s Pacific campus, one of the few hospitals in San Francisco where the RNs remain non-union.
CNA is also calling on CPMC and its parent company Sutter Health to respect the democratic rights of the RNs by agreeing to a fair election process by which the nurses will be able to consider unionizing in an atmosphere free of coercion or intimidation.
To emphasize that point, CPMC RNs will rally outside the hospital on Tuesday, September 10 at 12 noon outside the hospital at 2333 Buchanan Street.
What: Nurses rally for a fair election
When: Tuesday, September 10, 12 noon
Where: California Pacific Medical Center, Pacific campus, 2333 Buchanan St., San Francisco
Some 800 RNs at two other CPMC/Sutter hospitals in San Francisco, the California Pacific Children’s facility and St. Luke’s Hospital are already members of CNA, the state’s premiere organization of RNs, and in April ratified a new collective bargaining that will keep St. Luke’s open and provides for patient care and economic improvements at those two CPMC branches.
Nurses at Cal Pacific have seen the improvements won by their colleagues at other CPMC facilities, and say they similarly need CNA representation to address patient care concerns and RN rights.
Key issues at Cal Pacific, say the RNs, include inadequate staffing, requirements that RNs work in clinical areas without the appropriate clinical expertise and orientation, both of which are a risk to patient safety, as well as preference the hospital gives to traveling nurses in scheduling and assignments and hospital respect for RNs and their voice.
"Nurses at CPMC Pacific are organizing because we want to be able to adequately advocate for our patients and protect our licenses,” said Maricris Barquilla, Cal Pacific RN. “Nurses need to have a seat at the table in order to have a say in policies and protocols at our hospital. Right now, nurses aren't properly staffed, our breaks are being cut, and we need to unite in order to improve conditions for our patients and advance our profession."
Watch a video of Cal Pacific RNs speaking out about their support for this campaign: http://www.nationalnursesunited.org/videos/cpmc-pacific-rns-file-for-union-election/
The contract settlement for CNA members at the two other CPMC facilities came with the support of a broad community coalition campaign, led by San Franciscans for Healthcare, Housing, Jobs and Justice, of which CNA was a part, to keep St. Luke’s open and insist that CPMC plans for a facility at Cathedral Hill met widespread community concerns.
Members of that coalition are now supporting the RNs call for a fair election process at Pacific. A letter from community members calls on CPMC and Sutter to respect the rights of RNs to organize and “freely choose to join a union” without being subject to coercion and the tactics commonly employed in union busing campaigns, such as harassment and surveillance of union supporters and pressure from managers. Supporters of this effort include a number of other labor and community organizations.
All of Sutter’s major hospital system competitors have previously agreed to fair election procedures with CNA, the letter notes.
“It is our strong recommendation that management immediately enter into negotiations with CNA to hammer out a fair-election agreement and immediately stop the illegal and immoral campaign against RNs it is currently deploying at its facility,” the letter reads.
CNA says that the harassment effort by hospital management is already underway. This week the nurses filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board asserting that CPMC/Sutter is violating federal labor law by spying on union supporters, imposing a gag rule on discussions about representation, and restricting employees’ off duty access to the hospital.
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