5 Good Reasons for RNs to Oppose Meg Whitman
The California Nurses Association put this together for you.Like your hospital CEO or Chief Nursing Officer, billionaire Meg Whitman thinks she knows what is best for California nurses and patients.So, after CNA refused Whitman’s demand that we give her every CNA member’s home address and other personal information — and after Whitman rejected our offer to have her speak directly to RNs in forums where nurses could ask unscripted questions — Whitman decided to bombard RNs with campaign mailings, and a misleading phone survey to nurses. And, she created a website to attack CNA, and the gains RNs have made, just as hospital attorneys and anti-union consultants have done before her. Don’t be deceived.Whitman poses a threat to our patients, our standards, and our voice.1) Protect Our Patients and Our Ratios. In the primary, Whitman wouldn’t support our ratios. Now, when she wants our votes in November, she claims she does. Gov. Schwarzenegger said he supported ratios, too. Then he issued an executive order to roll back the ratios, and severely weakened ratio enforcement by the Department of Public Health. Can we trust Whitman, who employs the same anti-regulation rhetoric and whose campaign chair, ex-Gov. Pete Wilson vetoed a prior ratio bill, not to follow in Schwarzenegger’s footsteps?2)Protect Our Pensions. Whitman denounces “gold-plated retirement benefits” of UC and other public nurses, and says she will raise the retirement age, extend vesting periods, require RNs to contribute more to pension plans, and replace defined benefit plans with more risky 401(k) plans. We can not allow Whitman to seek to divide RNs. Her plan to cut public RN retirement will only encourage all hospital employers to demand huge cuts in the pension and retiree health benefits all California RNs have worked so hard to win.3) Protect Meal Breaks and Overtime. Whitman wants to eliminate guaranteed meal and rest break laws and overtime pay. If she succeeds every employer will be demanding more mandatory overtime and abusing break relief.4) Protect the Public’s Health. Whitman wants a “moratorium” on all new consumer requirements, including workplace health and safety rules and consumer protections against polluted air, water and food toxins. Whitman also will continue to cut funding for California’s public health safety net, which impacts the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our society, especially children.5) Protect Our Union. Whitman’s assault on CNA could have been scripted by hospital management, and is intended to silence nurses by weakening our collective ability to fight to improve patient care and RN standards, and to protect our voice at the bedside and in the public arena.