Dear 121RN Members,
Over the course of the last few weeks, we have received numerous calls and messages from concerned members like you regarding the situation you’re all facing as frontline healthcare workers and the lack of sufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Although we have been e-mail blasting and posting information on social media with all the steps we’re taking as a Union to protect you and get you what you need to do your jobs effectively and to have some level of protection during this crisis, I wanted to personally reach out to ensure you know about the work that is being done on your behalf. Here are some, but not all, of what we’ve been working on:
Our political staff and member leaders have been working to put pressure on local, state and federal legislators to have PPE released and distributed to CA hospitals from our state’s emergency stockpile and the strategic national stockpile. Our political staff has spoken to mayors’ offices of various cities, to legislators at the state capitol, to the various counties and offices of emergency services, etc., to determine how quickly much needed supplies will be released and the quantities. We are hopeful that all the calls, emails and conversations with the media will get everyone to work together and act more quickly in getting you what you need. Here’s an article from Saturday, 3/21/20, that describes the release of supplies and equipment (and the #s) for the state:
In addition, our Education Department has been 1) creating informational content regarding COVID-19 questions, 2) providing educational resources and other materials regarding COVID-19 and aerosol and transmissible disease standards, 3) obtaining information on pay and benefits for impacted members and 4) analyzing information provided by your hospital administrators about their health and safety plans and practices to protect you and your patients during this time.
Our Communications Department has been working ‘round the clock to disseminate and post this information so that it is readily available and accessible to all of you. If you haven’t already done so, check out the info here: http://www.seiu121rn.org/2020/03/19/health-safety/
If our staff and member leaders are doing tons of work but you don’t all know about it, you may not realize that help is on the way and that our organization is part of helping to make this happen. If you have other ideas on what else we can do, or how to get information to you in the most efficient way, please let us know – no idea is a bad idea and we welcome all feedback from our members!
Thank you so much for continuing to care for the sick while understanding the risk to your own health and safety. Member power and collective action of our nurses and other members who are on the frontlines is what is helping to sound the alarm and to get things moving. We hope to have an update on the release of PPE and other support very soon.
Rosanna Mendez, Executive Director