Lodi nurses vote to unionize
RNs at Adventist Health Lodi Memorial Hospital join CNA
By Rachel Berger
Registered nurses at Adventist Health Lodi Memorial voted overwhelmingly in March to join California Nurses Association (CNA).
“The registered nurses’ vote to join CNA is a great win for our hospital and our community,” said Yvonne Knaggs, a registered nurse at Lodi Memorial. “We are patients’ strongest advocates. Nurses from all departments need to be able to speak up because protecting our patients must come first. Building RN power through a strong union is the answer we’ve been looking for.”
Nurses at the 194-bed facility said they voted to join the union because it is critical that nurses have a say in making decisions to help recruit and retain experienced nurses, which leads to improved patient care.
“We’ve seen many of our colleagues leave over the years due to unsafe staffing, inadequate pay, and a number of other issues,” said Stephanie Moraes, a registered nurse in the telemetry unit. “Now as CNA members, we will have the ability to negotiate a legally binding contract and win better working conditions from management. That means patients will benefit because the hospital will be able to keep experienced nurses at the bedside.”
The union will represent more than 340 RNs at the hospital, which is owned by Adventist Health.
NNU President Deborah Burger, RN, said she is thrilled to welcome the Lodi Memorial nurses to CNA. “We are so proud to stand with Lodi Memorial nurses as they come together to use their collective power to improve their hospital to benefit their community,” said Burger. “We look forward to working with you to achieve better conditions for nurses and patients.”
“Our patients are our families and friends,” said Rodney Gaines, a registered nurse who works in the emergency department. “Voting in the union gives us the tools to treat our community the way it deserves and how we want our families treated, protect our licenses when we take unsafe assignments for months on end, and have a voice when we go out of ratio. This is about protection for patients, our profession, our community.”
Rachel Berger is a communications specialist at California Nurses Association/National Nurses United.