National Nurses United

California Nurse magazine July-August 2005

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Well now he's gone and done it. Schwarzenegger called a special election that nobody wants except him and his cronies, that California can't afford, and that will probably have a record low turnout because most Californians are rightfully disgusted about having to make decisions on policy that the governor should be working with legislators to resolve. Among his slate of ill-conceived and punitive proposals, a particularly dangerous one stands out. Sugarcoated by its supporters as the "Pay- check Protection Initiative," what the measure really does is prohibit unions representing public workers from spending members' dues on political activities without first getting written consent. Business inter- ests tied to Schwarzenegger and the state Republican Party have poured hundreds of thousands of dollars getting it on the ballot. This initiative sounds deceptively reasonable. But what the corporations are really try- ing to do is silence groups that don't agree with them by establishing a formidable bureaucratic hurdle. They're artificially separating political activity from union activity, as if the two were entirely different pursuits. This is along the same lines as Schwarzenegger arguing that he loves nurses but hates CNA. A union's political activity is in the interests of its members, the working people it represents. And if you are paying atten- tion, those same corporations are not required to get permission from each and every one of their shareholders to spend money on political activities. We're in for a fight on this one. Given our 2005 bargaining push and the imminent November special election, you might well be spending your summer organizing and educating your colleagues, but in case you do get a chance to steal away to the beach or on vacation, check out this issue's book reviews for a suggestion on a good read to bring along. Healthcare has taken center stage as the hot topic these days. A number of books about healthcare (or rather, the lack of it) and nursing have come out, and we examine them in this issue. Another notable event this past month: a Sacramento judge ruled in our favor and decided that the governor's emergency order against ratios was unlawful. See the news section for details. And last, but not least, take a moment to read RN Karen Roy's story about her long struggle with back injuries she suffered at work. We've got our lift team bill back before the Legislature this year, and need everyone's help pushing it through. Maybe this year will be the year. 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 July/August 2005 Volume 101/06 (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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