Letter from Memorial Medical Center of Modesto to the St. Joseph’s of Orange RNs (but it applies to Huntington too)
Dear St Joseph of Orange Nurses,
We would like to share with you the experience that we have had with the California Nurses Association at our hospital, Memorial Medical Center of Modesto, a Sutter hospital in Northern California.
As seasoned nurses, we sympathize with our fellow RNs and the struggles we often face at work. We believe in standing together to voice common concerns to our employers and to our communities. We do not, however, feel that the CNA is the answer.
The CNA attempted to organize MMC for over two years. During this time, they posted flyers and left brochures all over the hospital with false and skewed information. We started to wonder about the claims the CNA made, and we began calling around to neighboring hospitals that were CNA members as well as those that were not. We found that the CNA’s numbers concerning salaries, benefits, retirement, and other finances were grossly exaggerated and in some cases, completely false.
They came onto our units on weekends and on night shifts, violating rules about staying out of patient care areas, to get their membership cards signed. Their presence in our hospital caused arguments, strained relationships, and a sense of dissatisfaction that we had never known before. Finally, in the summer of 2014, the union had just enough interest cards signed for the NLRB to approve an election. Their campaigning prior to the election was constant—they sent people who were not even healthcare workers to our facility to urge people to vote for the CNA.
More than 92% of our RNs turned out to vote—
Unfortunately, less than two weeks later, we got word that the CNA was disputing the results of our election, despite having such a majority of nurses vote them out. The results have been with the NLRB and we may be forced to go through another election, six months later.
The CNA claims to have your best interest at heart. Our thoughts have always been—if they care about our opinions, why would they not respect the democratic process that we underwent and the sacrifices that many of our nurses made to make sure they could make it to the election? They claim that they will be your “voice”—in our experience, they tune out yours so that only THEIRS can be heard.
We think it is important for you to know that the people who are working with the CNA to support them are getting a paycheck to do it. Your hospital may not be able to speak out against them, and the playing field is not level. Labor unions are protected by law to say whatever they wish—whether it is factual or not. It is no different than a candidate running for political office. Hospitals are required, by law, to tell you the truth. They will be under scrutiny by the NLRB and by the attorneys who work for the CNA, so know that information you get from your hospital is legitimate.
Above all else, we hope that you will make an effort to make an educated decision. Every vote counts, and that vote affects more than you and your hospital. Please look into the multi- millions that the CNA earns each year in membership dues alone—you are worth a lot to them!
They have not been able to reach a contract agreement with our sister hospital, Sutter Tracy Community Hospital, in over three years. Their tentative agreement language does not represent what the nurses thought it would, but now they are stuck. The CNA is a political money-making machine that is headed up by a woman who is not only not a nurse—but who has not worked in healthcare at all. The CNA does not represent nurses in a way that is effective or professional.
Our best wishes and support are with you!
The Green Team at Memorial Medical Center of Modesto
See our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/UnionFreeAtMMC
RNs: Liz Garrison, Judy Gibson, Bev Botelho, Lisa Brush, Karen Klein, Michele James (not pictured),