National Nurses United

Registered Nurse magazine October 2006

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REGISTERED NURSE,™ (ISSN 1932-8966) The Journal of Patient Advocacy, October 2006 Volume 102/8 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 for July and August, and January and February. Periodicals postage paid at Oakland, California. POST- MASTER: send address changes to Registered Nurse, ™ 2000 Franklin Street, Oakland, CA 94612-2908. To send a media release or announcement, fax (510) 663- 0629. Registered Nurse™ is carried on the CNA/NNOC web- site at For permission to reprint articles, write to Editorial Office. To subscribe, send $40 ($45 foreign) to Subscription Depart- ment. California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organiz- ing Committee also produces California Nurse, ™ which it will continue to publish periodically. P L E A S E C O N T A C T U S W I T H Y O U R S T O R Y I D E A S 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. i've spent months talking about Propo- sition 89 to other registered nurses, the media, and community groups, and the easiest way I can break it down for people is to point out who is for this crucial reform measure, and who is against it. So who's for it? The long list includes us nurses, rank-and-file teachers, much of the labor move- ment, good government groups like Common Cause and the League of Women Voters of California, AARP-California, the Sierra Club, consumer groups like the Foundation for Tax- payer and Consumer Rights, and progressive lawmakers. So who's against it? Huge insurance companies and HMOs, the pharmaceutical industry, big oil giants like Chevron, utilities like Southern California Edison, and Chamber of Commerce groups. In fact, many of the top con- tributors gave donations in massive $100,000 chunks—the kinds of donations that Prop. 89 would stop. Enough is enough. We can fix this problem by passing Proposition 89 in November. It's a measure that would end this kind of political corruption by limiting the size of con- tributions, banning donations from lobbyists and state con- tractors, and establishing "clean," or public, financing for candidates who don't take private money. In addition to the Prop. 89 campaign, the so-called Kentucky River ruling came down from the National Labor Relations Board this month, and it was just as awful as we all expected. The board, which is stacked with Bush administration appointees determined to crush the power of working people, decided that charge nurses are supervisors and therefore ineligible for union protections. We view this as an attack on all nurses. Some people chalk up this bad decision to the NLRB's misunderstanding of what we do. But make no mistake, col- leagues. They understand all too well what we do. We are the last line of defense for patients against healthcare corpora- tions that want to squeeze every last penny out of the system, even if it means compromising patient safety and well-being. They can't outsource the patients, so they're "outsourcing" the nurses, trying to turn us into a contingent workforce with no rights, no say, and no power. If that happens, patients die. We won't let that happen, and have already let the hospi- tal industry and the NLRB know that we will not tolerate any violation of our union rights. Any hospital that dares to exploit this decision can expect us to fight back by any means necessary, up to and including striking. I'm happy to announce, however, that we now have more colleagues to help us. The 1,600 members of the Maine State Nurses Association voted in September to join CNA/NNOC, and we are so excited that this feisty group is now part of the family. We share many of the same principles and goals, and will accomplish more now that we've joined forces. There are many other important stories in this issue, including a full report on the incredible contract the Kaiser Permanente nurses just ratified, and a thought-provoking article on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Remember, nurses must get to the polls Nov. 7 if we want to change our country for the better. Deborah Burger, RN CNA/NNOC president LETTER FROM TH E PR ESI DENT executive editor Rose Ann DeMoro editor Lucia Hwang graphic design Jonathan Wieder communications director Charles Idelson contributors Hedy Dumpel, RN, JD photography Jaclyn Higgs, Tad Keyes editorial intern Bonnie Ho Registered Nurse

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