Posted by on April 13, 2001 at 13:41:19:
For Immediate Release April 13, 2001
Marian RNs Choose Calif. Nurses Assn. --
Twice Nurses at Santa Maria Hospital Vote for CNA by 74%
In two separate elections, Registered Nurses at Marian Medical Center in Santa Maria voted by 74 percent Thursday night to join the California Nurses Association. With their double vote, the Marian RNs added an emphatic exclamation point to a whirlwind series of election wins by CNA, the state's largest organization of nurses, at six Southern and Central California hospitals the past two weeks.
Marian hospital RNs voted 162 to 65 for CNA. In separate balloting, Marian Home Health RNs voted nearly unanimously, 30 to 3 for CNA representation. The next step for the Marian nurses, as it is for RNs at the other six hospitals, will be to begin talks with hospital officials for their first collective bargaining agreement.
"I think CNA will give us the voice we've been seeking for over two years," said Crystal Davis, RN, a Telemetry nurse at Marian. "We finally have the bargaining power to effectively advocate for patient safety. This is a victory not only for the nurses, but for the entire community of Santa Maria. Aligning with CNA will allow us to be treated as the professionals we really are - that's what we've really wanted."
Citing concerns about RN turnover, Donna Green, RN, a Medical-Surgical nurse, said, "We need to keep our experienced RNs here in our community. I feel with CNA we can accomplish the improvements we need and that management will hear our voices which will allow us to provide the care our patients need."
Home Health nurses are also concerned about staffing levels and enhancing other policies and procedures to assure "our patients are not shorted on the amount of time we can spend providing care for them," said Home Health RN Linda Gray.
With the Marian votes, CNA has now won seven elections in just two weeks by an aggregate 72 percent to represent an additional 2,000 RNs. All six hospitals are part of the Catholic Healthcare West system, the biggest hospital chain in California and largest Catholic health system in the Western United States.
All the secret ballot elections are being conducted in accordance with a landmark agreement signed in February by CNA and CHW setting forth a process for increased opportunities for CNA representation for thousands of unrepresented nurses in California, Arizona, and Nevada.
Key provisions of the agreement include expedited private elections, a pre-election environment free of employer coercion and intimidation to assure a fair, democratic decision by the nurses, and assurances that the RNs are free to discuss issues of CNA representation among themselves.
Other hospitals where RNs have voted for CNA representation the past two weeks are San Gabriel Valley Medical Center, Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center, and California Hospital Medical Center, all in Los Angeles County, and Community Hospital and St. Bernardine Medical Center, both in San Bernardino. RNs at St. Dominic's in Manteca, near Stockton, will vote next week on whether to join CNA.
With the Marian vote, CNA now represents over 7,000 RNs in 21 CHW hospitals, and 37,000 nurses overall.
Contact: Liz Jacobs, cell/pager, 510-325-4786, or Charles Idelson, 510-273-2246 or pg, 415-559-8991.
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