President’s Message – March 2013

March 2013

Ken Deitz, President

UNAC/UHCP continues to grow. Already this year, 700 Physical, Occupational and Recreational Therapists and 100 Staff Educators at Kaiser signed cards to join UNAC/UHCP. More than 300 RNs at Corona Regional Medical Center voted to join. Still, workers often have to face real obstacles to forming a union. Universal Health Services (UHS) owns Corona and two other hospitals where RNs are trying to join UNAC/UHCP, Rancho Springs and Inland Valley. UHS has a spent a fortune on anti-union consultants, instead of putting that money into patient care. At Corona, management pulled RNs away from patients to watch anti-union DVDs. And at all three hospitals, pro-union RNs have faced discrimination, surveillance, interrogation and threats.

This points to the importance for us of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the federal agency that's supposed to conduct fair union elections, remedy unfair labor practices, and guard workers' rights to organize and bargain collectively. The NLRB has been favorable to workers recently, including UNAC/UHCP members, due in large part to three members appointed by President Obama.

However, this January a federal court ruled that Obama's appointments to the Board were unconstitutional. Because the Republican Senate had refused to even vote on his nominees, Obama made so-called “recess appointments” in January 2012, when the Senate was effectively not meeting, though every few days they gaveled into session for a few minutes. But a Pepsi bottling company called Noel Canning got upset when Obama's Board ruled in favor of its workers. The company petitioned the Washington, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. This January 25, the Circuit Court decided in Noel Canning v. NLRB that Obama's recess appointments were invalid. On that basis, the Court overturned the Board's decision against Noel Canning. Noel Canning v. NLRB could be disastrous for union members, if other steps the Board has taken to support workers' rights, including our own members, are affected. The Circuit Court's decision will likely be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The NLRB continues to process cases and issue decisions. And President Obama has now formally nominated two of the members whose appointments were disputed—which will no doubt lead to a new battle with the Senate. This reminds us why it's important that we stay on top of our elected officials, holding them accountable for supporting workers' rights.

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 – 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 – January 2012 Jan 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