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News of the Month – February 2023

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NUHW was featured in a Law360 story about healthcare unions expecting organizing to ramp up as nurses across the country continue to protest high nurse-to-patient ratios and insufficient wages. NUHW President Sal Rosselli said for some nurses, these issues have been decades in the making as healthcare facilities adopted a “just-in-time staffing” to save money instead of “providing adequate care” and “taking care of the people that provide the care.”

NUHW member Aidee Garcia, a home health aide at Providence Hospice of Sonoma County, is included in a story by the North Bay Bohemian about how she and her co-workers voted to unionize recently. The story also notes the opposition Providence is facing from workers and the community after they announced plans to close a birthing center in Petaluma, the only such facility between Santa Rosa and San Rafael.

Law360 published a story about the NLRB ruling that Kaiser Permanente violated federal labor law by delaying for three months its response to NUHW’s December 2020 request for data about psychiatry department telehealth visits. NUHW President Sal Rosselli said he welcomed the board’s decision, but was disappointed that there aren’t more severe penalties for serial violators like Kaiser. “Kaiser has repeatedly refused to comply with record requests until the legal process has run its course,” Rosselli said.

With Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital slated to run out of money in April, the public hospital district is seeking a potential financial partner or buyer to keep the Hollister hospital operating, KSBW reported.

The online calculator created by NUHW and Healthy California Now, for individuals to determine how much money they would save if we had a single-payer system is included in a story In These Times about how the coverage and costs of health insurance varies dramatically given the patchwork of employer-based private insurance plans, individual health plans via a government-run online marketplace, or government-run healthcare. Given that, there is rarely a guarantee that there will be no out-of-pocket costs associated with accessing care.

Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) has introduced SB 513, the Reducing Recidivism Through Therapy Act, which would provide access to therapy to all 97,000 incarcerated Californians, regardless of security level, sentence length, or mental health disorder classification, Los Angeles Blade reported. Currently, only those with the most severe cases of mental illness (around 30,000 incarcerated people) have access to therapy, with sessions often as short as 15 minutes, and they are often cycled through different therapists sporadically.

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