Lakewood Affiliate Celebrates Their Tenth Anniversary

October 2012

The Lakewood RN Association commemorated their tenth anniversary on July 26 by hosting a celebration honoring the original organizing committee members. The affiliate founders headlined the celebration, recounting for all the struggle to organize their union—including being booted out of the hospital and having sprinklers turned on them. “It was like a family reunion,” said Sally Manalad, RN, LRNA’s first Vice President (and this month’s Everyday Leader).

LRNA was founded as many of our affiliates were out of concerns for patient safety and working conditions for the RNs. This story is one of resistance on the part of the hospital and persistence on the part of the nurses. They organized their union and fought for a first contract, and ten years later their legacy carries forward with active officers and an engaged membership.

The celebration lasted all day. It began with a breakfast for people who worked the night shift or beginning the day shift. It continued with a class for CEUs organized jointly by the affiliate officers and hospital administration, on the ESRM, the form used at Lakewood for documenting unsafe staffing, near misses and incidents. Many RNs at Lakewood have been scared to fill out the form, fearing they would get in trouble. The training let them know that the hospital and union together support the process of documenting mistakes and learning from them.

The celebration finished off with a dinner. A musician played piano. There was an address by UNAC/UHCP Secretary/Treasurer Barbara Blake, RN, and Certificates of Recognition were presented to the founders of the affiliate and current leaders.

“It showed that we do benefit from the past,” said LRNA President Joel Emerson. “And that if we participate in our union now, like our founders did, then nurses in the future will benefit in the same way.”