National Nurses United

California Nurse magazine June 2005

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For years now, CNA has been fighting on many fronts to protect our historic minimum nursing ratios from being obliterated by the hospital industry. We struggled for years to get these standards through the Legislature and the governor, we attended numerous hearings when setting the ratios, we went into court when the "at all times" rule was jeopardized and when Gov. Schwarzenegger weakened them through emergency order, we've gone public through rallies, political protests, television ads, and billboards. And just who keeps churning up these attacks on the ratios? Who funds these lawsuits that we must respond to? Who suggests to the governor that excusing EDs from ratios and delaying the better 1:5 medical-surgical ratio are a good idea? And it's not just the ratios. It's lift teams and other patient protec- tions CNA has tried to put in place, too. Who takes legislators out to lunch and bends their ear about why they shouldn't support these proposals? Who writes Gov. Schwarzenegger letters pleading poverty on behalf of the hospitals? The California Hospital Association, that's who. For years now, CHA has been our main opponent on many issues, from ratios to lift teams to hospital closures, yet we've never taken a closer look at who they are and how they do what they do. In this issue's cover story, we examine how much they collect in dues from your employers, how their various political action committees raise money, where they spend it, how much they spend on lobbying, and how much they spend on legal fees. We nurses need to understand what we are up against. In other news, I'm delighted to report that the union founded by CNA for our national RN movement, the National Nurses Organizing Committee, has just scored its first major victory. Chicago-area RNs with the Cook County Bureau of Health Services voted by a 2-1 margin in mid-May to leave the Illinois Nurses Association for the NNOC. This last month, CNA also welcomed some new members from within California: nearly 400 per diem RNs from Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, and 240 RNs from Mercy Medical Center Merced. We've got 20,000 RNs in bargaining this summer, so don't forget to check the news briefs for a bargaining update on your system. Deborah Burger, RN CNA President Editor Lucia Hwang Executive Editor Rose Ann DeMoro Graphic Design and Production Jonathan Wieder Communications Director Charles Idelson Contributors Hedy Dumpel, RN, JD Liz Jacobs, RN California Nurse June 2005 Volume 101/05 (ISSN 0008-1310) is published by the California Nurses Association, 2000 Franklin Street, Oakland, CA. 94612-2908. It provides news of the Association's activities and reports on developments of concern to all Registered Nurses in the state. It also carries general coverage and commentary on matters of nursing practice, community health, and healthcare policy. It is published ten times a year with combined issues in the summer and winter. Periodicals postage paid at Oakland, California. Postmaster send address changes to California Nurse, 2000 Franklin Street, Oakland, CA. 94612-2908. To send a media release or announcement: Phone: 510-273- 2200 Ext. 249 Fax: 510-663-0629 California Nurse is carried on the CNA Website: For permission to reprint articles write to Editorial Office. To subscribe: Send $40 ($45 foreign) to Subscription Department. Letter from the President President's | Note

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