President’s Message – January 2012

January 2012

Ken Deitz, President

It's easy for us to think of “The Union” as something outside, away from our hospitals and apart from our daily work lives.  But The Union is literally us, the members, united.  The life's blood and breath of our Union is member engagement and action.

I witnessed it over and over again last year: at Parkview, Garden Grove, St. Francis and Sharp, management couldn't make a move in contract negotiations without members watching and taking action.  The strength of our Union, members united, wore them down and we won each of those fights.

A few weeks ago I stood on a cold wet sidewalk in Montebello holding a candle with the RNs of Beverly Hospital and their community and elected supporters. Marlene Castanon pledged support from 700 St. Francis RNs, only to have Teresa Mulroy up the ante with the unity of 12,000 Kaiser members.  For Beverly's union-busting lawyer that fight is just a fat paycheck, and bragging rights if he beats us.  But for Beverly RNs, it's their lives, their families; the lives and well-being of their patients.  That was Union on that sidewalk. That's how we'll outlast that lawyer and win.

We're going to bring that power of Union to the Kaiser Permanente negotiations in a new way this year. We're inviting every UNAC/UHCP Kaiser member to come and witness negotiations.  I've seen it: with hundreds, even thousands, of RNs and health care professionals sitting across from management at the bargaining table, watching their every move and listening to their every word, what they do and say is different.  The whole dynamic in the room shifts in our direction.

We have the one power management can never have: tens of thousands of us, united in commitment to our patients, to each other, to our families and ourselves.  We have Union.

You'll be able to sign up to attend online in January, on our new contract campaign website.  The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions is 95,000 strong.  Let's lead the Coalition with the largest Union presence there!  Sign up later this month, and I'll see you at the Bargaining Table.

In unity,
Ken Deitz, RN

Previous Messages

President’s Message – Fall 2015 Oct 2015
President’s Message – July 2015 Jul 2015
President’s Message – May 2015 May 2015
President’s Message – March 2015 Mar 2015
President’s Message – January 2015 Jan 2015
President’s Message – November 2014 Nov 2014
President’s Message – September 2014 Sep 2014
President’s Message – July 2014 Jul 2014
President’s Message – May 2014 May 2014
President’s Message – March 2014 Mar 2014
President’s Message – January 2014 Feb 2014
President’s Message – July 2013 Jul 2013
President’s Message – May 2013 Jun 2013
President’s Message – March 2013 Mar 2013
President’s Message – January 2013 Jan 2013
President’s Message – November 2012 Nov 2012
President’s Message – September 2012 Oct 2012
President’s Message – July 2012 Aug 2012
President’s Message – June 2012 Jun 2012
President’s Message – March 2012 Mar 2012
President’s Message – October 2011 Oct 2011
President’s Message – July 2011 Jul 2011
President’s Message – June 2011 Jun 2011
President’s Message – April 2011 Apr 2011
President’s Message – February 2011 Feb 2011
President’s Message – December 2010 Dec 2010
President’s Message – September 2010 Sep 2010
President’s Message – July 2010 Jul 2010
President’s Message – March 2010 Mar 2010
President’s Message – January 2010 Jan 2010
President’s Message – November 2009 Nov 2009
Testimony at the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee Meeting Aug 2009
Kathy J. Sackman | Make a Difference Video Aug 2009