California Nurses Union Braces For Contract Battle

Members of the California Nurses Association say they rallied in Sacramento in May to raise public awareness of their concerns about patient care in California hospitals.

hide captionMembers of the California Nurses Association say they rallied in Sacramento in May to raise public awareness of their concerns about patient care in California hospitals.


April Dembosky/KQED

Going to a union meeting of nurses is a little bit like going to an evangelical church service.

“We all have to stand up, and it’s a struggle,” says Veronica Cambra, a nurse reporting a grievance at Kaiser Hospital in Fremont, Calif., as though she’s giving testimony. “And we will overcome this, OK?”

The rest of the nurses respond with the passion of a devout congregation, humming “Mmm hmmm,” and “That’s right,” through the series of speeches.

But this is no church service. The California Nurses Association is rousing its troops for battle. The powerful union will begin bargaining Thursday with Kaiser Permanente on a new four-year contract for nurses at its northern California hospitals. Kaiser operates the largest hospital system in the state — largest by number of hospitals and by number of hospital beds — and is the eighth largest health system in the country.

We can't continue to have unsafe medical care be a regular part of the way we do business in health care, said Harvard School<p>Article source: <a href=http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/07/23/332547848/california-nurses-union-braces-for-contract-battle?ft=1&f=131849999

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