Barbara Blake, RN, is State Treasurer of the United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals, NUHHCE, AFSCME, AFL-CIO.


UNAC/UHCP Members in Southern California Flood Bargaining, Win Phenomenal New Contract

by Ken Deitz, RN and Barbara Blake, RN

More than 1,500 United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals members attended nine days of bargaining sessions in southern California in March, April and May. The overwhelming UNAC/UHCP showing was called “a sea of blue,” and showed Kaiser management UNAC/UHCP meant business.

On May 11 in the early morning, a tentative agreement was signed.  On May 19, UNAC/UHCP affiliate officers and delegates from coalition unions met to unanimously recommend that members approve the contract.  This victory was only possible through the hard work of UNAC/UHCP members, and their strong participation in the process.

After Year-Long Fight, Beverly Nurses Win First Union Contract

by Ken Deitz, RN and Barbara Blake, RN

Registered Nurses at Beverly Hospital ratified our first contract this week, winning protections for patient safety after a year of tough bargaining.

Beverly is a community hospital in Montebello that serves working families in East Los Angeles and the small nearby cities. After years of individual efforts to address concerns about safe staffing and broken equipment, Beverly nurses voted to join United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals (UNAC/UHCP) in February 2011. But when we sat down at the bargaining table to negotiate our first contract we faced classic bad faith bargaining tactics from management: refusals to provide information or bargain often enough, and stalling.

Beverly Nurses Fight for Quality Patient Care, Fair Wages, & Union Protections

by Ken Deitz, RN and Barbara Blake, RN

Beverly Hospital is a community hospital that serves working families in Montebello, Pico Rivera, Monterey Park, El Monte, Whittier, and East Los Angeles. In recent years, the quality of care at Beverly has plummeted. The hospital’s roof is leaking, there isn’t enough medical equipment, and existing equipment is broken. Wages are so low that the hospital can’t keep enough experienced nurses to maintain safe staffing levels as required by state law.

While hospital administrators refuse to invest in Beverly’s staff and equipment, the hospital’s CEO, Gary Kiff, has been getting pay raises and bonuses, now making more than $400k a year. Over the years, Beverly’s Registered Nurses have made repeated individual attempts to speak to management about our concerns – but we have gotten nowhere. We chose to form a union so that we would have a real voice in patient care and working conditions.