Only the Beginning: The UNAC/UHCP Retiree Council Founding Convention
On October 2, nearly 100 retired and soon-to-be retired UNAC/UHCP members filled the classroom in our state office to learn more about the next chapter in their union activism. Some came to hear about Medicare and Social Security, namely what they could do to preserve it for future generations. Others came to find out how they could get more involved with the union, or to get active in politics. A few were looking to be social. Luckily everyone found something to get excited about at the UNAC/UHCP Retiree Founding Convention.
Willie Pelote, AFSCME California Legislative and Political Director, kicked things off by laying out the legislative landscape. Pelote is known throughout the state and beyond as a dynamic speaker, and he did not disappoint. Assemblywoman Norma Torres also gave a sobering speech about the reality of where this country is, legislatively. RN Donna Knoch, a future retiree from Kaiser Fontana, said she enjoyed both Willie and Norma’s speeches, but liked Norma’s speech in particular because it highlighted new avenues for making change.
Donna’s former coworker, Virginia Zickuhr, RN, said she’s more concerned about the future now than when she was working, because she was too busy working then. While the political topics didn’t really speak to her, she was interested in hearing more about opportunities to get involved in communicating with nurses at non-union hospitals through UNAC/UHCP’s organizing department.
RNs Emelie Galang and Adelia Tandas, both retired from Kaiser Anaheim, credited Asela Omilig-Espiritu, RN, Cherie Sloan, RN and Paul Stoeppler, RN with keeping them active in the union while they were working. Now they say so far they are happy with their retirement, and want to keep it that way! They came to the convention to find ways they could get re-engaged with the union now that they are part of the Retiree Council.
The convention body voted at the end of the conference to elect officers. They are:
Sonia Moseley, NP
Delima MacDonald, RN
Marie Scheet, NP
Roseann DeWitt, RN
Fred Tinamisan, RN