Workplace Violence Prevention

Violence is NOT in Our Job Description! Class on March 24, 2020

Using the Cal/OSHA Workplace Violence Prevention Standard in Healthcare

Workshop offering 6 Continuing Education Units
being held on Tuesday March 24, 2020
SEIU Local 1000 office at 436 14th St. Ste. 200 Oakland, CA
10:00 – 4:30pm (lunch and light breakfast provided)

Email hughesk@seiunaca.org or Text 619-548-1811 to register

Open & free to all SEIU Local 1021 and Local 1000 nurses

Approved for 6 CEUs by BRN Provider No. 3413

SEIU Nurses and other healthcare workers led the fight for a Cal/OSHA standard to protect healthcare workers from violence

This course will cover:
– A review of workplace violence typologies and prevention. The new regulation: what it means and how to use it.
– How nurses and our union can effectively participate in developing WPV prevention programs at each worksite.
– Union strategies and action steps for enforcement & building a good case for a Cal/OSHA complaint

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2019, A Year in Review

It’s always amazing just how much SEIU California nurses accomplish every year. You are union nurses, so doing amazing work is a daily occurrence. You spend every working day saving and improving people’s lives, so it’s not really a surprise; but it is certainly a source of tremendous pride. It’s also no surprise that nursing is once again the most trusted profession and that 2020 has been named the year of the nurse.
Here is just a small glimpse of what you’ve attained this year. It isn’t a complete list by any means because as SEIU nurses you are always doing what needs to be done for your patients, clients and communities that you serve. Your vision and advocacy go well beyond local issues, but also nationally and even internationally.

The Trump Administration’s so-called ‘conscience rule’ would have allowed health care workers, pharmacies, insurance plans and hospitals to refuse to provide care based on personal beliefs. This rule would have allowed healthcare providers to deny care to LGBTGI patients, women or anyone who they had a religious objection to or simply didn’t approve. SEIU Local 1021 RN Chair, Sasha Cuttler, RN, PhD led other nurses, healthcare workers and community allies to oppose the final rule change by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Our ‘No Hate in Healthcare’ campaign was successful in stopping the rule’s implementation through multiple press conferences/rallies, the federal court system and with added support from Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.
Along with the SEIU endorsement of the Green New Deal, here in California and throughout the nation, SEIU nurses took on the issue of climate change and disaster relief. You continue to make the assurance of healthy communities, quality public health and equity a top priority; by providing Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training, joining your work with other environmental justice coalitions and obtaining the qualifications to become disaster response nurses yourselves. We’re accomplishing this by entering into a memorandum of understanding with the International Medical Corp in order to participate in future disaster relief efforts; obtaining disaster response certification that can be used both personally and professionally.

As public health nurses, Shamika Ossey and Sharon Sylvers-Sidney, recognized the need for members of their Watts Community to be prepared for imminent disasters and started volunteering to provide CERT training. Today, they are providing this same training to ensure that their fellow nurses are also prepared, with the sponsorship of their Local 721 and SEIU Nurse Alliance of California. Our goal is to have hundreds of California nurses certified and able to join SEIU nurses across the nation in inevitable and vital relief efforts.

Speaking of SEIU Local 721 and Local 1021; these Locals lead our California environmental justice efforts to address climate change and minimize its negative effects on union members and all Californians, especially the under served and communities of color. Maribel Castillon, RN, PHN, the 2019 recipient of our Glenda Canfield award, is one example of a great nurse leader whose dedication improves the lives of those she serves and the community where she lives.

SEIU Nurse Alliance of California members continue to make preserving and improving the Affordable Care Act a reality for all Californians. You do this primarily in the public health system where most of our nurses work and by partnering with allies to address healthcare costs, quality and access through the state legislative or budget process. This could be in the foster care system or by lobbying for full practice authority for our Nurse Practitioners that would improve care to the under-served in California (AB 890 – Wood).

As union members you worked to ensure that hospitals follow Title 22 the staffing ratio law in order for nurses to provide safe patient care. SEIU Local 121RN (our private sector Local) led the way to the passage of SB 227 (Leyva), joining forces with all SEIU California nurses through State Council and the Nurse Alliance of California. This new law will cite hospitals that violate the law without having to put our patients at risk. You have nurses like Gayle Batiste, the nurses from her Local and actually all of your Locals to thank for SEIU nurses now having the ability to be the true patient advocates that you’ve always been so proud to be.

As patient advocates we recognize that our patients cannot be safe if the nurses that care for them aren’t; SEIU California nurses work to address safety standards through the Cal OSHA regulatory process. Your goal continues to be seeking regulations for safe ventilation during smoke generating procedures and workplace violence prevention – general industry. Nurses, like Marilyn Mara from SEIU Local 521, see the bigger picture as community advocates to protect immigrant families from the proposed Public Charge rule which rips away the medical and other critical programs that help families survive. She understands that this proposal is an attack on immigrant families and their right to healthcare, nutrition, housing and other vital services. Which is why she is using her most trusted voice as a nurse and professional to call out this injustice.

Our nurses advocate for their profession and patients through contract negotiations and memorandums of understanding with their employers that address safety issues, like mandatory overtime. Mandatory overtime was a condition of employment for our SEIU Local 1000’s state nurses. Nurses know that working excessive hours puts your patient’s safety and life at risk, not to mention the risk to the nurse’s well-being. You fought hard to eliminate this practice and we all look forward to the time when this practice is eliminated entirely.

You don’t limit your advocacy to just where you work or live. As nurse leaders, you address legislation on a national level by recognizing that the rights and protections that we enjoy here in California are needed nationally. Every nurse deserves to be able to practice their profession safely and every patient or client deserves to have safe, quality care. Registered Nurses, like Maria Elena Diaz, take that seriously when reaching out to members of Congress seeking support for The National Nurse Act of 2019 that would designate the Chief Nurse Officer of the US Public Health Service and elevate the authority and visibility of public health nursing. SEIU nurses have also lobbied on a national level for safe staffing and workplace violence prevention.

SEIU Nurse Alliance of California is proud to represent our 35,000 Registered Nurses and it’s impossible to highlight all of the amazing work that you do, but we wanted to give you an idea of what’s possible when you are a union nurse. SEIU nurses will continue to lead the way on issues that impact your patients, your practice, your health and safety or that of the communities you serve!

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WE DID IT: Violence Prevention Standard Adopted!

Health Care Workplace Violence Prevention Milestone… reached

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On October 20, the Cal/OSHA Standard Board unanimously voted to adopt the first workplace violence prevention standard for healthcare workers in California.  Our hope is that this Standard will be used as a template at the national level. 

 In 2010, Ingela Dahlgren, RN, and Kathy Hughes, RN, attended a rally to honor the memory of Dona Gross, a psychiatric technician at Napa State Mental Hospital, who was strangled to death by a patient while at work. This atrocity was the latest in a string of violent incidents which inspired the beginnings of a workplace safety movement which continues today.

WPV-Prev-Adopted-10-20-16-Pic-3While focused effort under strong leadership underpinned this successful campaign, the true heroes in the battle for a safe work environment are all the nurses and the health care workers in this great state of California.

What makes this victory so important?

WPV-Prev-Adopted-10-20-16-Pic-2Sharing their personal accounts of attacks, threats, and harassment in the workplace, healthcare workers retold their stories before the Cal/OSHA Standard Board to bring attention to the urgent need for regulatory change.  These heart-breaking stories propelled the Cal/OSHA Standard Board to approve improvements in their regulations governing the management and operation of healthcare facilities throughout California.

This new Cal/OSHA Standard applies to most employers of nurses, health care workers, and the communities they serve in California. With this new regulation in place, Cal/OSHA is ready to implement workplace violence prevention measures in California and soon for the rest of the U.S.

At a more personal level…

WPV-Prev-Adopted-10-20-16-Pic-4The men and women who shared their stories are to be applauded for motivating the Committee to consider the importance of this issue at a very personal level. For the last couple of years, many SEIU Locals and the California State Council have supported our campaign financially and by actively participating in our rallies and events. We are very grateful for all their support and encouragement. We want to thank you again for your participation over the years!

TOGETHER WE WIN!

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WPV-Prev-Adopted-10-20-16-Pic-8 WPV-Prev-Adopted-10-20-16-Pic-9 WPV-Prev-Adopted-10-20-16-Pic-10

 

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Continued Success in the Anti-bullying Campaign

Katz_DHSIn March of this year, unrelenting members of Local 721 accompanied by other professions including: Social Workers, Medical Case Workers, Surgical Technicians, Physical Therapy Aid, Licensed Vocational Nurses, Registered Nurses, and Nurse Practitioners shared with Dr. Katz, Department of Health Services for Los Angeles County, their alarming stories of overt bullying and silent retaliation at the hands of managers.

Following-through with action, Dr. Mitch Katz put management and administration on notice by circulating a memo condemning bully behavior in the workplace.

As a testament to his commitment and genuine interest in making immediate strides in creating a bully free DHS, Dr. Katz sent out a department wide memo on May 2nd condemning bullying behavior and asking DHS employeesincluding management and supervisors, to join him in pledging to treat all workforce members with dignity and respect.”

And it doesn’t stop with Local 721. In June of this year, the Joint Commission published downloadable guidelines which further clarifies how “bullying” is to be defined, identified and treated separately and distinctly from illegal harassment.

SEIU Local 721 demonstrates how standing together, we remain strong in this blog post showing how MLK Outpatient Center’s CEO responded to the Dr. Katz memo by endorsing and expanding the message specifically to this facility.

“…Our primary focus should always be patients first. But, we cannot properly care for our patients if we are not respectful toward one another. I know that we can do it…” – Cynthia Oliver, CEO

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