President’s Message – December 2010

December 2010

After thirty three years, I will retire at the end of the year as your President.

I have often talked about UNAC/UHCP's beginning when a small group of nurses met in the clubhouse of a trailer park to discuss ways to improve our working conditions. Our first meeting was held on May 21, 1972.

We had nurses from four hospitals talking on that day – Balboa Naval, Los Alamitos, LA County, and Kaiser Fontana – and the in-plant nurses from McDonald Douglas. We decided UNAC's structure then and there. Nurses would represent nurses. Any member would be able to easily contact the union officers. Every facility would have their own organization called an affiliate with their own officers. Our Association would be led by an Executive Council with a representative from each of our Affiliates, so members would have a voice in the organization. We would represent our members in all areas – legislation, collective bargaining, and representation. We would be run by nurses who would be elected, not hired. And for the most part, this is how we've remained, for 38 years. I feel so fortunate to have led this union through so many firsts.

We were the first ever Southern California nurse's organization to go on strike in 1977. Eight hundred nurses in four Kaiser facilities went on strike for 30 days. We drove Kaiser crazy. And we won what had caused us to strike – a management nurse would now be in charge of the staffing office, nurses would get every other weekend off, and our wages were no longer tied to hospital council rates. We argued St. Francis nurses right to organize in the courts – and won the right to have an all RN Bargaining Unit. We were the first independent nurses union to affiliate with an AFL-CIO union. When the Sharp nurses organized in 1996, it was the single largest group of Registered Nurses to vote in a NLRB certification election in the history of the US Labor movement. We were one of the founding unions of the historic Labor Management Partnership with Kaiser, the single largest, longest coalition in the labor movement. Through this Partnership we were able to push for staffing ratios which have been proven to save lives.

I want to thank all of you for your support over these many years. Without you, UNAC/UHCP wouldn't exist. You – the members – are the heart and soul of this union. I want you and I need you to continue to be our heart and soul. To stand with the new President and the State Officers as they carry the UNAC/UHCP tradition forward, making it the best, most innovative health care union in the country. Thank you. You truly are the best.

In solidarity,
Kathy J. Sackman, 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 – 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 – 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