I was ready to begin my career in art when I walked into my college counselor’s office, degree in hand. Fate had other plans. My counselor told me “There’s no money in art. I’m changing your career to nursing.”
But nursing has never been a second choice career for me. While still completing my Bachelor’s degree in nursing, my class had a week-long focus on unions, with guest speakers from many different unions who spoke to us about what being in a union meant. UNAC/UHCP was there. Now both nursing and union activism were in the cards for me.
I’ve stayed at Kaiser Woodland Hills for the opportunities to grow in my profession. For me, that means being active on committees and being part of decisions to make this a better place for the patients and nurses. I consider myself a union activist. To me, a large part of that is helping my colleagues find justice when the contract is not being followed.
I could go on and on about the union. Without a great union, we would probably be at a lower pay rate and have regular nurse-to-patient ratios like other hospitals. Instead with UNAC/UHCP, we have better wages and better ratios. I do believe this is a better place to work, because of UNAC/UHCP.
I have mixed feelings about the upcoming negotiations. Absolutely the union is stronger when we all stick together and have one strong voice! We all have to fight this battle together.