South Bay Labor Council And California Nurses Association Endorse Persky Recall

Bay City News Service Published 12:19 pm, Friday, March 16, 2018 The South Bay Labor Council and the California Nurses Association are endorsing the recall of Judge Aaron Persky that will be on the June 5 ballot, recall organizers announced today. The Recall Judge Aaron Persky campaign aims to remove and replace the judge who became controversial for a sentence he handed down to former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner, who was convicted of sexual assault. "The members of these organizations are making it clear that they are saying 'enough is enough'," campaign chair Michele Dauber said in a statement. "Each organization represents hard-working men and women across the county who are standing with sexual assault and domestic violence survivors by supporting the recall." LATEST SFGATE VIDEOS Now Playing: Now Playing Final version of Stephen Hawking's emulator San Francisco Chronicle Buggy version of Stephen Hawking's voice emulator San Francisco Chronicle Stephen Hawking 1996 voice video San Francisco Chronicle Stephen Hawking's 1986 voice San Francisco Chronicle Sean Dorsey Dance Claudia Bauer Bob Melvin's Friday interview session San Francisco Chronicle Bodies of man, woman pulled from Lake Merritt after reported dispute San Francisco Chronicle SF mayor candidate Mark Leno on his favorite place in the city Dominic Fracassa Time lapse of storm clouds moving over San Francisco Daniel Alrick El Cerrito high school students participate in nationwide walkout to protest gun violence Paul Chinn, The Chronicle The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors approved the recall for the ballot on Feb. 6 after campaign volunteers submitted more than 94,000 petition signatures to the Registrar of Voters for verification on Jan. 11. The Registrar of Voters conducted a testing of a random sample of signatures and approved the petition. The South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council has more than 100,000 union members Continue Reading

California’s nurses union loses longtime leader, but not agenda

Don’t expect the retirement of the head of California’s politically powerful nurses union after 32 years to distract the labor organization from its long-standing focus on single-payer health care — or its efforts to push the state Democratic Party further to the left. RoseAnn DeMoro, who stepped down over the weekend, has long been grooming her second-in-command, Bonnie Castillo, to take the helm. The union’s supporters — as well as some detractors — say DeMoro has embedded her colorful antics and firebrand, rabble-rousing style in the DNA of the California Nurses Association. Story Continued Below “We’re obviously going to miss her leadership; it was so unique. But, on the other hand, the program of the union and even its style won’t change,” said Michael Lighty, the union’s public policy director, who has worked with DeMoro since 1994. The 69-year-old DeMoro isn’t known for her subtlety. Under her leadership, the union helped derail Meg Whitman’s 2010 bid for governor, going so far as dressing up an actress as "Queen Meg" to mock the candidate at public appearances. The union’s umbrella group was accused of taking its cues from DeMoro and exploiting the Ebola epidemic to promote its own agenda. And DeMoro’s steadfast support of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' candidacy for president — the union also supported Ralph Nader over Al Gore in 2000 — ruffled the feathers of the Democratic establishment. More recently, union members wearing their trademark red shirts have crowded legislative chambers, rallied and shouted down candidates at state Democratic conferences and events — all in support of California’s controversial single-payer legislation, S.B. 562, which remains in limbo after stalling in the Assembly last year. Steven Maviglio, a Democratic strategist in Sacramento who has been a longtime critic of the union, expects the gamesmanship to Continue Reading

California Teachers Association Speaks Out Against Arming Educators

Bay City News Service Published 8:10 pm, Friday, February 23, 2018 The California Teachers Association, a coalition that represents over 325,000 educators in the state, responded today to President Donald Trump's recent statements about arming educators to prevent mass shootings. The U.S. president met with survivors and families involved in the Parkland, Florida high school shooting that took place on Feb. 14 on Wednesday to hear their thoughts on what should happen as a result of the 17 lives lost in the tragedy. The next day, he commented in a meeting that "highly trained" teachers and staff should be allowed to carry weapons at school. On Thursday Trump tweeted, "If a potential 'sicko shooter' knows that a school has a large number of very weapons talented teachers (and others) who will be instantly shooting, the sicko will never attack that school." Recommended Video: Now Playing: Florida Shooting Survivors Faced Down the NRA in a CNN Town Hall A group of students and teachers from the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida participated. Two Florida Senators, Sen. Marco Rubio (R) and Bill Nelson (D) and Florida Congressman Tom Deutch (D) were also in attendance, along with a spokesperson for the National Rifle Association (NRA). Among the topics discussed was President Trump's suggestion of arming teachers. When I had those hundreds of terrified children that were running at me, my question to that is, am I supposed to get extra training now to serve and protect on top of educate these children? Others defended the survivors, many of whom have been criticized for speaking out. Our kids have started a revolution. I’m proud and I’m inspired to be a part of never again. You just told this group of people that you are standing up for them. You’re not standing up for them until you say, ‘I want less weapons.’ Many people tuned in to watch, including a former president. Media: Continue Reading

Letter: Nurses association support of single-payer is self-serving

By Letters From Our Readers | Bay Area News Group PUBLISHED: February 7, 2018 at 7:21 am | UPDATED: February 7, 2018 at 7:26 am Imagine going to the emergency room with abdominal pain only to find it closed because the nurses are on strike. This is what can happen when we have a single-payer health care system built by and for the California Nurses Association (Opinion, Feb. 6). There is no mention in the oped about the union benefit cost driver. Remember,  we have approximately $150 billion in unfunded pension benefits for this state’s public employees, and the CNA wants to add to that. William B. OrtendahlSanta Clara Continue Reading

Can California Achieve Universal Health Care in the Age of Trump?

The battle over the American Health Care Act has devolved into a question of whether Paul Ryan can save face by passing something out of the House that he knows can’t advance in the Senate. That Republican leadership is considering placating Trump and the Freedom Caucus right by including insurance market changes that have no budgetary component and cannot be part of a Senate bill that goes through reconciliation shows the futility of the exercise. The AHCA is dead. All that’s left is determining who the public will see holding the bloody knife. What comes after the AHCA? That’s a useful question. As I reported in February, the worker bees inside the Health and Human Services Department are already busy undermining the individual exchange market and implementing President Trump’s blame-game strategy of tagging Democrats with Obamacare failure. “Let it be a disaster,” Trump has said, “and we can blame that on the Democrats and President Obama.” There’s reason to question whether pointing fingers as millions lose access to care will work. But all of this assumes that the fight will play out only on the terrain of a degrading health-care system. What if the nation’s largest state, the capital of liberal America, goes their own way and shows a counterpoint, by improving a flawed system and realizing the goal of truly universal coverage? Gavin Newsom, currently the favorite to win the California governor’s race in 2018, wants to create this contrast. So does the state Legislature. And they are following different paths to get there. Last month, the Legislature introduced SB 562, which would create a single-payer system for all of California’s 38 million citizens, including the undocumented. The Legislature has passed this concept twice, both in 2006 and 2008, only to have it vetoed by Arnold Schwarzenegger. But “concept” is the key word. There aren’t many details in the bill Continue Reading

The California Senate Just Passed Single-Payer Health Care

If health care is a right—and it is—the only honest response to the current crisis is the single-payer “Medicare for All” reform that would bring the United States in line with humane and responsible countries worldwide. It is unfortunate that Donald Trump, who once seemed to recognize the logic of single payer, has aligned himself with House Speaker Paul Ryan’s scheme to make health a privilege rather than a right—and to use a “reform” of the Affordable Care Act as a vehicle to reward wealthy campaign donors with tax cuts and sweetheart deals. The debate in Washington is so cruel and unusual that it is easy to imagine that the cause of single payer must be doomed in America. Not so. The movement for single payer is for real, and it’s winning in California. The state Senate voted 23 to 14 on Thursday in favor of SB 562, a single-payer proposal that would guarantee universal health care to all Californians. “What we did today was really approve the concept of a single-payer system in California,” declared state Senator Ricardo Lara, a key advocate for the bill, following the vote. “California Senators have sent an unmistakable message today to every Californian and people across the nation,” declared RoseAnn DeMoro, the executive director of the California Nurses Association and National Nurses United, which led the fight for the “Healthy California Act.” “We can act to end the nightmare of families who live in fear of getting sick and unable to get the care they need due to the enormous cost,” DeMoro continued. “We’ve shown that healthcare is not only a humanitarian imperative for the nation, it is politically feasible, and it is even the fiscally responsible step to take.” That’s true. According to a review of a new NNU-sponsored study by the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst: “SB 562 Continue Reading

National Nurses United Union Backs Bernie Sanders

National Nurses United, an activist union with a history of bold political moves and issue-focused campaigning, has endorsed Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination. This is the first endorsement from a major union for Sanders, who has worked closely with NNU on a number of issues over the years. “Bernie’s issues align with nurses from top to bottom,” said NNU executive director RoseAnn DeMoro, who ticked off issues of agreement: “insisting that healthcare for everyone is a right not a privilege, protecting Social Security and Medicare from those who want to destroy or privatize it and working to expand both, holding Wall Street accountable for the damage it has done to our communities, understanding the threat to public health from the climate crisis, environmental degradation, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, support for minimum nurse-to-patient ratios for hospital patients, and on and on.” Sanders echoed the sentiment, explaining that, “Like NNU, I have argued for a very long time that we have to move toward a Medicare for all, single-payer system. The United States is the only major country on earth that doesn’t guarantee health care to all people as a right and that’s an issue that must be addressed if we are going to begin to address a whole range of other challenges.” NNU, which represents 185,000 nurses nationwide, is the first national union to endorse Sanders’ insurgent challenge to Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. The AFL-CIO has not endorsed in the Democratic race and most unions have followed the lead of the federation. But the 1.6-million American Federation of Teachers, which has a strong presence in the New York and which worked closely with Clinton when she was a senator representing that state, endorsed the frontrunner in July, with union president Randi Weingarten declaring that, “Hillary Clinton, a product of public schools herself, believes in the Continue Reading

How to Help Haiti? Send in the Nurses

If Haitians are ever going to recover from the crisis caused by the massive earthquake that very nearly leveled the capital city of Port-au-Prince, they are going to need nurses. Lots and lots and lots of nurses. Haiti’s health-care infrastructure has crumbled. Many health-care providers were killed in the earthquake, that has killed tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of Haitians. The local doctors and nurses who survived are, themselves, injured and in shock. And hospitals and clinics that were maintained by United Nations agencies and relief organizations are either destroyed, shuttered or overrun. So where will the nurses come from? More than 8,000 U.S. nurses have, in a response organized by National Nurses United and the powerful California Nurses Association, have signaled their readiness to deploy immediately to Haiti. Last month, in the annual progressive honor roll I prepared for The Nation, I hailed the NNU/CNA as the nation’s most valuable union. And this militant labor organization is confirming its status in the aftermath of Haiti’s disaster. "As reports of dire medical care shortages continue to pour in, we have thousands of registered nurses willing and ready to travel to Haiti," says NNU Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro. "We are doing everything in our power to get these nurses engaged as quickly as possible." The NNU/CNA is in contact with the U.S. government and is prepared to work with other nations as part of the international relief effort. "We know that the few remaining medical facilities in Haiti and those who are now on the ground are completely overwhelmed. In this enormous human tragedy, it is vital to get the nurses deployed rapidly," says DeMoro. What will make that possible is money. To make a donation, go to the Registered Nurse Response Network website. The nurses will do the rest. Says the NNU: You have seen the news reports–of the U.N. closing their hospital in Haiti, of the Continue Reading

Nurses stage Ebola ‘die-in’ on Las Vegas strip

U.S. hospitals aren't ready for an Ebola outbreak, according to nurses who staged a "die-in" Wednesday outside a Las Vegas Strip resort where they were holding a union convention. Many protesters in the crowd of about 1,000 who attended the Planet Nurse convention wore bright red T-shirts and suits resembling hazardous-materials gear as they streamed through the Planet Hollywood casino floor before crossing Las Vegas Boulevard to the Bellagio resort. Ebola "can easily come to our shores, and we're not ready," said Julia Scott, a registered nurse from Largo Medical Center in Florida who was attending the California Nurses Association and National Nurses United convention. At the sound of a gong, Scott and dozens of other protesters dropped to the sidewalk in front of the iconic Bellagio fountain, where others used chalk to outline their "dead" bodies, writing the hashtag #StopEbolaRNRN inside the tracings. It was followed by a moment of silence for international health workers who have died while caring for Ebola patients in West Africa. "It's not acceptable that these people are dying," RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United, told her fellow protestors. U.S. policymakers are in denial, DeMoro said. "It is going to come here," she said. Union representatives called the protest a "die-in." They pointed to a recent case of a patient tested for Ebola at a northern California hospital. In that case, the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center ruled out the Ebola virus. Union nurses complained the patient was in contact with health workers in a public waiting area for about a half-hour. Dr. Stephen M. Parodi, an infectious-disease specialist and hospital operations director for Kaiser Permanente Northern California, said in a statement Wednesday that as soon as Ebola was suspected, the hospital began to inform its entire staff. "From triage and until it became clear that Continue Reading

Visiting Nurse Association: Tidal wave coming

RED BANK - Dr. Steven Landers sees a tidal wave approaching.The number of people aged 85 and older is expected to triple in the next 25 years, Landers said, and he worries that they will not only strain Medicare and Medicaid, but also will suffer through services and procedures that don't lead to a longer life."It’s never been more exciting," Landers said, "but you also feel like you’ve got a big weight on your shoulders."Landers is president and chief executive officer of the Visiting Nurse Association Health Group, a nonprofit organization that is trying to capitalize on its age-old service – house calls – that is coming back in favor. And he is in the middle of a whirlwind.The organization is equipping its health care workers with technology to help them treat patients more efficiently. It is trying to raise $10 million through a fundraising campaign. It is participating in pilot projects with Medicare, searching for new ways to pay for a service so that the nation can afford to care for its aging population. MORE: How healthy is your New Jersey county? MORE: Hackensack Meridian opening Rite Aid clinicsBut he's convinced that if he succeeds, the Visiting Nurse Association can bring financial and emotional relief to millions of New Jerseyans.The state, experts say, could use it. Medicare in 2012 spent $84,489 for each New Jerseyan in the last two years of their life, more than any state except California and almost 20 percent more than the national average, according to the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care."We see the most specialists, and we get the most treatment and spend the longest number of days in the ICU compared to everywhere else across the country," said Linda Schwimmer, president and chief executive officer for New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, a research group. "It's very, very expensive care, very intensive care." MORE: What Trump might do with health care MORE: What Continue Reading