REAL HISTORY OF RATIOS IN CA — WON THROUGH UNION DENSITY AND CONTRACTUAL STANDARD SETTING, NOT BY HOT AIR, VOTE NO CAMPAIGNS, and CNA REWRITTEN HISTORY OF BEING THE ONLY UNION THAT WINS FOR NURSES
——————————————– 1983: SEIU Negotiates First Collective Bargaining Agreement with Staffing Ratios at San Francisco General. In 1983, SEIU negotiated minimum staffing requirements for nurses at San Francisco General that have been improved over the last two decades. Today the SEIU contract requires 1:3.7 in med-surg. 1993: No CNA contract includes staffing ratios. (*to this day I don’t believe CNA has any contractual ratios, and if they do somewhere, it’s not outside CA*.) CNA negotiates a deal with Wilson Administration on regulations on acuity-based staffing. After not winning staffing ratios at the bargaining table, in the Legislature or in the regulatory process, CNA negotiated on unenforceable regulations that require hospitals to have incomprehensible acuity systems. 1993: SEIU sponsors the staffing ratio bill, SB1079 by Senator Diane Watson, to require staffing ratios in all hospitals, calling for 1:3 on day shifts and 1:4 on night shifts in med-surg and pediatrics, and 1:2 in stepdown and telemetry. SB1079 also calls for ratios in outpatient settings, home health, and urgent care. 1999: AB394 by Assembly member Sheila Kuehl is introduced calling for 1:6 in med-surg, 1:3 in pediatrics, 1;3 in step-down, and 1:4 in telemetry. SEIU works to improve the measure by including all licensed nurses as appropriate. CNA does NOT OBJECT… they agree! January, 2000: SEIU Nurse Alliance submits first staffing ratio proposal calling for 1:4 in med-surg, 1:3 in pediatrics, 1:3 in step-down, and 1:3 in telemetry. Working as a professional organization, SEIU Nurse Alliance convened representative committees of its nurses to develop the first staffing ratio proposal submitted to the Department of Health Services. The committees were convened by unit and included nurses from Northern and Southern California, from public and private hospitals, from Kaiser and non-Kaiser facilities and recommendations were compiled into a 43-page proposal that documented justification for the proposed ratios. August 2000: California Healthcare Association, the hospital association, submits staffing ratio proposal calling for 1:10 in med-surg, 1:6 in pediatrics, 1:6 in step-down and 1:10 in telemetry. The hospital association submits a one-page proposal with no justification for ratios that would endanger patients (up to 1:16…). 2000-2001: SEIU organizes against CHA proposal to endanger patients, submits hundreds of letters protesting. Nurses throughout California are outraged that those responsible for running hospitals want to make staffing even worse than it already is. March, 2001: After months of delays CNA submits its 1st staffing ratio proposal (*anyone seeing a pattern here? COPY, MISINTERPRET, and TRASH — that’s “progressive”? That’s crap*), fifteen months after SEIU, and a year after the Hospital Association, and months after UNAC. CNA calls for 1:3 in med-surg, 1:3 in pediatrics, 1:3 in step-down, and 1:3 in telemetry. Spring, 2001: Kaiser Permanente endorses SEIU/UNAC proposal. Kaiser Permanente, the largest health care system in California and one of the largest in the United States, joined SEIU and its other labor partners in endorsing nurse to patient ratios of 1:4 in med-surg, 1:3 in pediatrics, 1:3 in step-down, and 1:3 in telemetry. Kaiser affirms its commitment to quality health care and states its belief that better staffing is the best way to solve the nursing shortage. THESE RATIOS BECOME ENSHRINED IN ANOTHER CONTRACT, See Kaiser Sunset, who had 1:4 on med-surg in a cba long before legislation got us anywhere near those. NOTE: that’s 2 SEIU contracts with ratios and CNA=0 by 2001. 2001: California Department of Health Services surveys over 90 of 450 general acute care hospitals to determine staffing in all units on all shifts. Although inspections are technically unannounced, all hospitals are told they will occur. Even with notice, only about 70% of hospitals are staffed at 1:6 or better in med-surg and only about half are staffed at 1:5 or better. January 22, 2002: Governor Davis announces first-ever nurse to patient ratios, proposing 1:6 in med-surg, going to 1:5 in med-surg in 2004 or 2005, 1:4 in pediatrics, 1:4 in stepdown, and 1:5 in telemetry. CNA lauds ratios as “good, defensible ratios”. “This is the most sweeping health care reform that we’ve seen,” said Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of the California Nurses Assn., one of the unions that represent registered nurses. (LAT 1/23/02)All of this said by DeMoro knowing that at that time “licensed nurses” were considered to be RNs & LPNs, although the understanding that “licensed nurses” would be interpreted as RN ONLY came later and after an initial disagreement, all the nurses unions agreed to go with that definition. SEIU Locals denounce 1:6 as inadequate, not good enough for patients and not good enough to attract nurses to nursing. Kaiser restates their commitment to move to 1:4 voluntarily. Sal Rosselli, president of the SEIU’s largest healthcare local in CA, said the state’s nurses would have gotten a better deal under the Kaiser model. “Why the CNA would accept 6 to 1 absolutely shocks me,” he said. Kaiser spokesman Terry Lightfoot said that regardless of what Davis decided, Kaiser would stick with a plan to reach the 1-to-4 ratio “as soon as possible.” (SF Chron 1/23/02) Well we all know what happened after this — CNA rewrote history by claiming to have conceptualized, developed, and single-handedly won ratios in CA in a shockingly arrogant Karl Rove style move. SEIU’s only role, according to CNA, was to do nothing and try and stop ratios or worse, just watering them down. In addition to that, Kaiser is an example of awful labor management partnerships. Yeah. SEIU’s awful evil tactics equal 1) Union Elections for Workers, and 2) Standard Setting Improvements. Again — the CNA / NNOC 2-step (1. Criticize it and Destroy it because it’s not yours and 2) Steal it and Do it yourself because YOU HAVE NO BETTER IDEA. It would be one thing if it were just talk and armchair revolution bs — but now you guys are messing with real people’s lives. It Must Stop.