UNAC/UHCP History: 1990s

UNAC/UHCP in the 1990s

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1990: Kaiser Riverside joins UNAC.

One year after Kaiser Riverside Medical Center opened its doors, registered nurses and nurse practitioners voted to branch off from the Kaiser Fontana affiliate and create their own, new affiliate. They wasted little time. The vote to become an affiliate also included a vote for the affiliate constitution and affiliate officers.

1992- Kaiser San Gabriel joins UNAC.

Currently called Kaiser Baldwin Park, the San Gabriel group joined before an interesting chapter in UNAC and Kaiser history. The Kaiser Baldwin Park Medical Center we know today was originally intended as a showcase for Kaiser, and then was nearly sold to another hospital chain. After a surge of new members in the area, Kaiser decided instead to open a portion (and at some point, all) of the hospital. Due to the LMP (see below), the hospital was opened in partnership. Take a look at a video made after the hospital opened.

From a Los Angeles Times article written by David R. Olmos, published February 6, 1998: Kaiser said the opening will involve an unusual degree of union-management cooperation. Nursing, technical, maintenance and other employees will be closely involved in the planning.

1993: Registered Nurses and Health Care Workers at Bear Valley Hospital join UNAC and UHCE.

On December 18, 1992, workers at Bear Valley Community Hospital, part of a government-run hospital district, voted to join UNAC and a division of NUHHCE, United Health Care Employees (UHCE). One of the key issues in the organizing campaign was the cost of co-pay health care benefits, for some costing 50% of take home wages. As the hospital was sold, wages and benefits changed. If someone was canceled, they were asked to make themselves available to be called back to work if needed. And if they didn’t come back? Discipline! The Bear Valley group, UNAC’s first government unit, signed a first contract in 1994.

1996: 2,500 registered nurses at Sharp Healthcare, the largest single bargaining unit in history at that time, join UNAC.

1997: UNAC members vote overwhelmingly in favor of joining the Labor Management Partnership.

This partnership between unions and the employer was a groundbreaking strategy to jointly develop organizational change, create an environment of continuous learning and improvement, and involve the workforce in decision making.

1998: California passed needle stick safety legislation.

Our union spearheaded the first major workplace safety bill, which grew out of HIV-era injuries​. UNAC/UHCP lobbied for eventual National Needle Stick Safety & Prevention Act.


1999: California passed AB 394, a bill which led to nurse-to-patient ratios. UNAC/UHCP sponsored this bill and fought hard for it to pass.  Staffing ratios were implemented in 2004.

1999: Delegates at the UNAC convention vote to change the name of the union to include health care professionals in the name.

This move was in recognition of the increasing number of health care professional members in our union.