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Home / Neighborhood / San Gabriel Valley / Pasadena Independent / Tensions High over Potential Unionization at Huntington Hospital

Tensions High over Potential Unionization at Huntington Hospital

by Terry Miller
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Photos by Terry Miller

Photos by Terry Miller

In what was supposed to be a peaceful rally for pro union nurses Thursday morning, scores of anti-union nurses attempted to thwart their efforts. At times the two sides were extremely angry and vocal. While attempting to drown out speakers such as councilman Victor Gordo and Jacque Robinson, anti-union protesters were in the majority at this rally.

By Terry Miller

“CNA- NO WAY” was the repeated chant while officials and nurses from California Nurses Association attempted to speak at a press conference Thursday morning.
Scores of nurses, community leaders and union officials quarreled outside Huntington Memorial Hospital Thursday over unionization.
The confrontations occurred when members of the anti-union employees attempted to quell the voices of the California Nurses Association initially called the press conference.

“I ABSOLUTELY DO NOT WANT OR NEED UNION REPRESENTATION,” Vandy Uphoff, RN told Pasadena Independent in an email Friday.She added “Many nurses here, like me, appreciate what a special and unique place this is to work. The claims the CNA are making about our hospital and administration are absolutely false. I have been a bedside nurse at Huntington for 15 years (the last 14 in the Emergency department.) Our administration is very supportive of nurses.
I have not been coaxed by management or anyone else to oppose the union. I went there yesterday on my own accord to show that they are not speaking for the the majority of the nurses at Huntington as they claim. I am frustrated by the media coverage that keeps saying “Huntington nurses” hold union rally…etc. It is a small group of disgruntled employees who have adopted the idea that CNA can solve problems for them. I chose to solve problems with my colleagues and administration in a collaborative, productive way. I do not need the CNA to intervene or interfere.”

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Victor Gordo and Jacque Robinson as well as candidate Allen Shay attempted to calm the tensions. Eventually, the anti-union nurses left and the pro-union nurses prayed for a peaceful and fair solution.
A group of nurses at Huntington has been in talks with CNA organizers since May to form a union at the hospital, citing poor work conditions and diminished morale among employees. Since then, the pro-union employees cite intimidation from hospital administrators.

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