New Challenges Ahead for UNAC/UHCP’s Movers and Shakers

September 2014

UNAC/UHCP staff are on the move—to new departments. Tracy Best, who has spent time in UNAC/UHCP’s administrative department and most recently worked in the finance department managing payroll, is now UNAC/UHCP’s Human Resources and Benefits Administrator. Lupe Rodriguez, longtime administrative assistant, has gone back to her roots and now manages payroll in our state office. Richard Leon is moving from the finance department to organizing, where he will be an organizer. Deirdre Kirkwood, recently profiled as a new staff representative, is moving from representing Southern California specialty nurses to all members at the clinics in Kaiser Fontana and Kaiser Riverside. Finally, Jacque Bowman, RN, former affiliate officer at Kaiser Fontana who spent the last year in our organizing department, is moving over to represent members at Kaiser Orange County.

“Human resources and information technology are actually a match made in heaven,” said Tracy Best. “Shifting gears to human resources has allowed me to focus more on the information technology needs of our office. Surprisingly, the two areas are related. In my former position, as a UNAC/UHCP Staff Accountant, I wasn’t able to spend time making sure the technology in our office was working for our employees and the work we do. Believe it or not, using the right technology can greatly improve working conditions. Technology should support your work instead of holding you back. I am up for the challenge of getting the IT and HR at UNAC/UHCP up to a much more productive and resourceful level for all employees to better serve our members.”

“Being back in the finance department is a blast from the past! It is funny how life comes full circle,” says Lupe Rodriguez. For the past ten years, Rodriguez has been an asset to the administrative department at UNAC/UHCP, but at a previous place of employment, Rodriguez had similar duties to her new job at UNAC/UHCP. An avid runner and closet adrenaline addict, Rodriguez has a taste for zip-lining. Now she’s taking that adventurous spirit into payroll processing in UNAC/UHCP’s finance department.

“Joining the organizing department has been a dream of mine for years,” says Richard Leon, a new UNAC/UHCP organizer. “It may not seem like finance is a breeding ground for organizing, but it was talking to members through my work in the finance department that made me realize I want to help health care professionals join UNAC/UHCP. I have talked to a lot of new members over the past few years as our union has grown, and I look forward to building the union outside the state office.”

“It’s been quite a ride,” says Kaiser Fontana and Riverside clinics staff rep Deirdre Kirkwood, RN, who has a long resume. Kirkwood worked as a Registered Nurse at Parkview Community Hospital, Kaiser Riverside and Riverside Community Hospital, before joining UNAC/UHCP. First she was the temporary staff representative at Kaiser Riverside and then she represented the Kaiser specialty care nurses. “Now I’m moving over to service the Kaiser Fontana and Riverside clinics,” says Kirkwood, “and I can’t wait!”

“I can’t wait to fight for our members,” says Jacque Bowman, RN, on her move to Kaiser Orange County representation after a year in the organizing department. “I loved my time in the organizing department, but servicing the members is what I am called to do.” Bowman will represent members at the Kaiser Irvine facilities.