As a union leader in the schools, I’m proud to not only represent teachers but also school nurses. I know that coming to school healthy each day is a basic prerequisite for learning and succeeding. Our schools wouldn't function without the behind the scenes work of our nurses.
So that’s why I was proud to join the picket line outside of this morning. Just like my school needs the skills of a nurse, our community needs healthcare. Nurses at Eden are on the frontlines of healthcare in Castro Valley. It’s a shame they have to
Eden Hospital is part of Sutter Health. One of Sutter’s demands is to force nurses to work overtime. Sure it’s paid, but who wants a fatigued nurse tending to them or a loved one?
Another one of Sutter’s demands is to eliminate paid sick leave for nurses. That’s exactly what we want to discourage: nurses coming to work when they’re sick. (Schools ask students with fever or vomiting to stay home until 24 hours after their symptoms have cleared up, precisely so we don’t infect others.)
With an employer like that, no wonder nurses have gone out on strike.
I stand behind these nurses unequivocally. Our healthcare system is already ruled by the pursuit of the almighty dollar. The nurses and their union act as a check on the most rampant abuses of healthcare providers.
Sutter can afford to do better by the community. Even with an active, unionized workforce their 2010 profits “soared” 30 percent to $878 million.
Wouldn’t it be nice if a little more of that trickled down to nurses and patient care or reinvested in our local schools?