National Nurses United

Registered Nurse September 2007

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TOC:2 9/4/07 4:24 PM Page 2 LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT i don't mean to brag, but sometimes I just think that the nurses of the California Nurses Association and National Nurses Organizing Committee are some of the toughest labor negotiators in the country— maybe even the best. Despite the general trend for working people of losing ground on work standards, wages, and healthcare and retirement benefits, we always manage to pull it out of the hat, and more. Just look at our latest agreements with Tenet Healthcare Corp. Tenet will be giving us access to organize an additional 3,500 nurses and we also settled a master contract that includes the patient care protections we want and need as well as compensation to keep us competitive. It's just stellar and you can read more about it in the news section. Our success at the bargaining table is not by chance, though. It has come from years of building our power to advocate for our patients and ourselves through member education, activism, leadership development, and investing in our organizational infrastructure. And our success also comes from just a lot of sheer hard work by negotiating team members who agree to liaise with nurses on the floors and in the units, who visit them to give them bargaining updates and distribute flyers, who hold late-night meetings to help members understand what's going on, and who sit through often frustrating and slow bargaining sessions with management. As I'm writing this, the nurses of Fremont-Rideout Health Group, in a community about 40 miles north of Sacramento, and at 10 Northern California hospitals in the Sutter Health chain are pounding REGISTERED NURSE,™ (ISSN 1932-8966) The Journal of Patient Advocacy, September 2007 Volume 103/7 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 the pavement in preparation for strikes. As one nurse said, "We never like to go out on strike, but if that's what it takes to get the hospital to sit up and take our proposals seriously, then it's worth it in the long run." A perennial thorny issue in negotiations has always been the issue of adequate pension and retiree healthcare benefits, and this issue's fascinating feature story on the challenges in geriatric care will just add fuel to the debate. We're all living to much, much older ages. But the practice of caring for seniors has not kept up. Geriatric medicine desperately needs new practitioners and providers, it needs more of the public's attention, and it needs new ways of thinking about improving or maintaining an older person's health instead of just in strictly medical terms. The story will surely give you pause as you contemplate how you will be cared for in your old age. It certainly did for me. When we return in the next issue, we'll have reports from the 2007 House of Delegates convention and all sorts of other news. Enjoy the rest of your summer. Deborah Burger, RN CNA/NNOC President 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 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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