When I think of nurses, I think of caring. I think of hard-working people who, despite being spread increasingly thin, do so much for the patients under their care and get relatively little in return. That's why I love California Nurses Association and National Nurses United. They not only demand reasonable concessions on patient care, they also demonstrate in favor of public policies like a Wall Street transaction tax.
Yesteday thousands of their members walked picket lines, joined rallies and sent a message to employers that RNs will not accept reductions in patient services:
At a boisterous rally at Sutter Alta Bates Thursday morning, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka praised the RNs as “the last line of defense for patients” and excoriated the corporate assault by Sutter. “They disrespect you by attacking your healthcare, your retirement benefits, your right to advocate for patients, and now they want to force you to work when you are sick. Having sick nurses care for sick patients is sick.”
Trumka said it was 23,000 nurses taking a stand, but that they were joined by “millions of patients” and had the support of working people across the country.
“When nurses are on the outside, there’s something wrong on the inside,” said CNA Co-President DeAnn McEwen at the rally. She called the sweeping concession demands by Sutter “drastic, unwarranted, and unconscionable. They’re harming patients and we’re standing in the gap.”
“Nurses will never be silenced in standing up for our patients and our communities, or our members and our families,” says Children’s Oakland RN Martha Kuhl.