On August 18th, 2011 President Goodwin and the International staff held the first over OPEIU Nurses’ Council seminar in Seattle Washington.
Over sixty nurses and licensed vocational nurses from around the country represented their constituencies at this seminar. The OPEIU International union represents nurses around the country. This Council’s purpose is to facilitate collective bargaining representation for nurses and to provide a means for participation by members of the council in the resolution of issues that affect the nursing profession.
OPEIU is committed to promoting a climate of professionalism with the nursing community and to the public at large. One way to accomplish this is to promote best practices regarding patient care, patient safety and employee safety, along with compensation issues for nurses.
The objective of this council will also be to support the aims and objectives of OPEIU and to render assistance on workplace issues, to provide continuing education to Council members, to promote and impact legislation for the nursing profession, such as mandatory overtime, staffing ratios, and the rights of all workers to organize and collective bargaining.
Moving forward this council will meet annually to address many of these issues and OPEIU, Local 30 will be represented by Vice President Cathy Young, Recording Secretary Cathy Engler and Steward Michael Huff, all three are LVN’s employed by Kaiser Permanente in San Diego. Thanks to all of them Local 30 will be part of building unity and leadership among the nurses represented by OPEIU.
During this first seminar the council developed and agreed upon a constitution and bylaws and by doing so conducted an election of officers that will govern the council. The days were also filled with informational learning sessions and continuing education and neurological assessments, chronic kidney disease and hypertension. But the learning did not stop there. Donna Schaffer a senior organizer for the international shared her extensive wealth of knowledge and experience in an “Organizing Healthcare Workshop.”
With so much going on in the country today and legislation that is being pushed to limit workers rights and their ability to belong to a union, Linda Mulligan, Senior AFL-CIO National Field Staff, Organizational and Leadership Development Coordinator stressed the importance of “Building Community Relationships” in her workshop. By understanding what influences employers, we can help lessen the employers hostility and support workers ability to form a union. Involving the community in the unions campaign strategy that puts workers front and center helps to create recognition that they are an integral part of their own community.
This council is just one of the many ways OPEIU’s International President, Mike Goodwin continues to engage and involve OPEIU’s membership in the things that are most important to them and their daily lives as union members.