Palomar, Pomerado Nurses Push For CNA Representation
Nurses at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido and Pomerado Hospital in Poway, "frustrated" with "poor pay and working conditions," are "pushing for" a vote to join the California Nurses Association, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. In October 1995, nurses at the two hospitals in the public hospital district fell 14 votes short of joining the union. Now, leaders of the union drive say nurses are leaving the facilities for better paying jobs elsewhere and that the number of patients each nurse must treat is "too high." Judie Gahagan, a leader of the unionization drive, said, "Sixty percent of the nurses who have left the district stayed in nursing in the San Diego County area and are making more money now." Officials in the hospital district say that the nurses "would be making a mistake" by joining the union. Citing a $25.4 million "financial turnaround," Gil Taylor, the district's vice president for human resources, said, "now that we are back in the black things will be getting better for all employees." Last year, the district raised salaries 6%, and Taylor said another raise is expected "soon." In addition, the district this month started an incentive plan for nurses, offering $5,000 bonuses for new or returning nurses. Taylor said, "I don't think CNA is going to solve our budget problems or our nursing staffing and shortage problems" (Berhman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.