February 28, 2024
News

Kapiolani Medical Center Nurses on Strike for Safe Staffing

Members of the Hawaii Nurses’ Association (HNA), an affiliate of the Office and Professional Employees (OPEIU), began a weeklong strike on Sunday demanding a fair contract and an end to unsafe staffing ratios at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children. 

Why It Matters:
Nurses at the community hospital say that since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve been overwhelmed with patient numbers, leading to high rates of burnout among staff and negative impact on patient care. This is the issue that lies at the core of HNA’s unfair labor practice strike after months of failed contract negotiations with management.

“We just want the management to bargain with us. They’re not bargaining in good faith. It’s their way or the highway, and that’s not bargaining,” Paulette Vasu, HNA treasurer and a labor and delivery nurse at Kapiolani, said.


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Final Call: Union Plus Scholarship Applications Due Jan. 31

Final Call: Union Plus Scholarship Applications Due Jan. 31

Students from union families applying for or currently attending college, university, technical or trade school also can apply for a Union Plus Scholarship. Scholarship awards range from $500 to $4,000.

Joanna Escalante (left) is a California School Employees Association (CSEA) member and a candidate for a master’s in sociology. Escalante hopes to become an instructor at the community college where she currently serves as an administrative assistant. She has a special interest and background in working with students who have experienced foster care and/or homelessness. Baylor Sampson (center) grew up in a union family. His father has been an Ironworkers member in Ohio for more than 30 years. Sampson is majoring in computer science with the goal of working in cybersecurity and protecting people like his grandparents, who endured financial strain after an online security breach. Sampson’s dedication to his work inspired him to be passionate about his own educational path. Chareese Miller (right), a competitive soccer player and an exercise science major, has an ultimate goal. It is to become a physical therapist. Her mother is an AFGEmember in Atlanta. Miller said her desire to help others stems from her mother’s AFGE involvement as a steward and local vice president.

Current and retired union members, their spouses and their dependent children are eligible to apply for a Union Plus Scholarship. Applications are due Jan. 31 by noon ET. Learn more and apply at unionplus.org/scholarship

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Honoring Dr. King’s Legacy

Honoring Dr. King’s Legacy

Today we reflect on the life and lasting legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. King actively worked to bridge the modern civil rights and labor movements that shared, he said, "a unity of purpose." In his 1961 speech to the AFL-CIO's fourth convention, he said:

"Our needs are identical with labor’s needs, decent wages, fair working conditions,
livable housing, old age security, health and welfare measures, conditions in which families can grow, have education for their children and respect in the community.”

We are proud to honor, celebrate and continue to pursue Dr. King's vision of a better world for working people, today and every day. Happy MLK Day.

Team OPEIU 
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OPEIU Members May Accelerate Their Bachelor’s Degree  by Adding a FREE Stackable Certificate!

OPEIU Members May Accelerate Their Bachelor’s Degree by Adding a FREE Stackable Certificate!

Through the OPEIU Discount College Benefit, OPEIU members and their families can earn professional certificates, at NO additional cost to their discounted tuition:

IT Support Professional Certificate:

Earn up to 12 credits at no cost in addition to discounted tuition.
Potential savings: UP TO $4,200 in tuition.

Project Management Professional Certificate:

Earn up to 9 credits at no cost in addition to discounted tuition.
Potential savings: UP TO $3,150 in tuition.

Data Analytics:

Earn up to 12 credits at no cost in addition to discounted tuition.
Potential savings: UP TO $4,200 in tuition.

UX Design:

Earn up to 9 credits at no cost in addition to discounted tuition.
Potential savings: UP TO $3,150 in tuition.

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75,000 U.S. HEALTHCARE WORKERS TO STRIKE AT KAISER PERMANENTE OVER UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES

Largest healthcare worker strike in U.S. history will span hundreds of hospitals and facilities across the nation

LOS ANGELES – More than 75,000 Kaiser Permanente workers in multiple states – including many OPEIU members -- will go on strike on Wednesday to protest unfair labor practices and unsafe staffing levels at hundreds of Kaiser hospitals and facilities across the United States. The strike, which is expected to last for three days, will be the largest health care aworker strike in U.S. history. 

Healthcare workers are taking the work action to protest Kaiser executives’ bad faith bargaining, which is getting in the way of finding solutions to solve the Kaiser short-staffing crisis by investing in its workforce.

"Kaiser executives are refusing to listen to us and are bargaining in bad faith over the solutions we need to end the Kaiser short-staffing crisis," said Jessica Cruz, a licensed vocational nurse at Kaiser Los Angeles Medical Center. "I see my patients’ frustrations when I have to rush them and hurry on to my next patient. That’s not the care I want to give. We’re burning ourselves out trying to do the jobs of two or three people, and our patients suffer when they can't get the care they need due to Kaiser's short-staffing." 

Strike lines will be set up at Kaiser Permanente hospitals and medical office buildings across the country, including California, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. 

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