National Nurses United

Registered Nurse December 2007

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LETTER FROM THE COUNCIL OF PRESIDENTS although we all may come from different backgrounds and hold different sets of beliefs, the end of the year is when just about everybody spends some downtime with their family and loved ones, offering thanks for the blessings they enjoy in their lives and celebrating the anticipated bounty of the coming new year. This holiday season, we are especially thankful to be celebrating with an expanded CNA/NNOC family. On Dec. 6, RNs at Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center in Reno voted to be represented by CNA/NNOC, creating our first bargaining unit in the state of Nevada. We are thrilled to welcome them and hope to deliver holiday presents of improved ratios, patient safety standards, bargaining unit protections, and fair compensation to Reno very soon. Whittier Hospital Medical Center nurses are also celebrating a landslide election victory this holiday season, adding to our enormous growth in Southern California. Across the country, Maine RNs have successfully settled two more exemplary contracts. NNOC members at Home Health Visiting Nurses of Southern Maine and Down East Community Hospital outlasted and rose above their managements' intimidation tactics to secure bargaining unit protections, union rights, and significant quality-of-life improvements. While we celebrate the victories our members have won, we must also remember that others continue to battle for patient safety and livelihoods with dignity. Nurses at 13 Sutter Health facilities in California went on a second two-day REGISTERED NURSE,™ (ISSN 1932-8966) The Journal of Patient Advocacy, December 2007 Volume 103/10 is published by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, 2000 Franklin Street, Oakland, CA 94612-2908. It provides news of organizational activities and reports on developments of concern to all registered nurses across the nation. It also carries general coverage and commentary on matters of nursing practice, community and public health, and healthcare policy. It is published monthly except for combined issues in January and February, and July and August. Periodicals postage paid at Oakland, California. POSTMASTER: send address changes to Registered Nurse, 2000 ™ Franklin Street, Oakland, CA 94612-2908. To send a media release or announcement, fax (510) 6630629. Registered Nurse™ is carried on the CNA/NNOC website at strike this month, facing off against a stubborn employer that refuses to ensure adequate break relief and is threatening to shut down crucial outposts of healthcare in at least three underserved communities. And our hearts and thoughts are with Appalachian Regional Healthcare nurses, who recently approved a new contract after a three-month strike over understaffing and unsafe working conditions. One Christmas present the hospital industry received this year was a doozy. At this moment, some 1,100 hospital buildings in California are in danger of collapsing during the next big earthquake. Hospital owners were originally supposed to retrofit these structures by 2008 and replace them all by 2030, but over the years have vigorously lobbied the state to postpone the deadlines. The Legislature recently granted yet another extension to the hospital industry, effectively pushing back the retrofit deadline to 2020. This issue's feature story on the battle over seismic upgrades of California's hospitals details how we ended up where we are now, and questions the wisdom of public policy that jeopardizes worker, patient, and community safety in favor of hospital finances. We thank you for joining us on this road so far, and look forward to a new year of health, empowerment, and victory. Deborah Burger, RN | Geri Jenkins, RN Malinda Markowitz, RN | Zenei Triunfo-Cortez, RN CNA/NNOC Council of Presidents For permission to reprint articles, write to Editorial Office. To subscribe, send $40 ($45 foreign) to Subscription Department. California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee also produces California Nurse, which it will ™ continue to publish periodically. PLEASE CONTACT US WITH YOUR STORY IDEAS They can be about practice or management trends you've observed, or simply something new you've encountered in the profession. They can be about one nurse, unit, or hospital, or about the wider landscape of healthcare policy from an RN's perspective. They can be humorous, or a matter of life and death. If you're a writer and would like to contribute an article, please let us know. Our contact information is in the masthead. executive editor Rose Ann DeMoro editor Lucia Hwang associate editor Erika Larson graphic design Jonathan Wieder communications director Charles Idelson contributors Hedy Dumpel, RN, JD photography Jaclyn Higgs, Tad Keyes

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