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California - Nurses Fight for First Contract

“Yes, We Can!”: Declare Parkview Community Hospital registered nurses (left to right) Penny Brown, Linda Hippolyte and Joanna Nichols, all members of their union’s bargaining team.


Yes, We Can

“Yes, We Can!”: Declare Parkview Community Hospital registered nurses (left to right) Penny Brown, Linda Hippolyte and Joanna Nichols, all members of their union’s bargaining team. 

Photo Credit:

Russell Miller

Riverside, California

Backed by California Lt. Gov. John Garamendi (D) and other officials, some 260 registered nurses are battling for a first contract with their employer, Parkview Community Hospital Medical Center.

“Stand up and fight for your rights!” Garamendi declared at a winter rally attended by the members of United Nurses Associations of California/UHCP/NUHHCE (UNAC).

The nurses voted in February 2008 for a voice on the job with UNAC, an AFSCME affiliate representing approximately 16,000 registered nurses and other health care professionals throughout southern California.

The Parkview nurses have been negotiating with company executives since last April, but talks ran aground last year after the hospital’s chief executive officer, Doug Drumwright, cut salaries 5 percent without consulting the union.

Last December, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) called the pay cut an unfair labor practice. NLRB will seek an order restoring the former wage rates.

“CEO Doug Drumwright has chosen to stall our negotiations. He’s hired a union-busting law firm and called me and my colleagues ‘uncaring’ and ‘greedy’ nurses,” says Penny Brown, a nurse in Parkview’s neonatal intensive care unit. “Our priority is quality patient care, Mr. Drumwright! Please, stand on our side for our patients and let us have a voice.”

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