I’ve been a physical therapist at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital for 18 years. This year, my coworkers and I voted to leave UNAC and join NUHW.
If you want to know what it’s like to be represented by UNAC, the first thing you should understand is that you won’t have a say in anything, and, if there’s a problem, UNAC will not stand up for you.
My bargaining unit at Fountain Valley included RNs. During a COVID surge, the hospital promised nurses a $1,000 bonus for taking an extra shift, but then refused to pay it. UNAC said there was nothing it could do to make the hospital pay, but NUHW members at our hospital got their extra shift bonuses.
UNAC didn’t stand up for its registered nurses, but as a physical therapist in a nursing union, I felt even more under-represented. If I’m the Charge Therapist for the day I get an extra $1.50 an hour, but a Charge Nurse gets an extra 2.5 percent of salary. We told UNAC that we should get the same benefits as the nurses, but UNAC said there was nothing it could do because the hospital administration didn’t want to make any changes.
We just had no say in anything. We paid our dues and had to take what was given to us.
In contract bargaining, UNAC gave away our raises and benefits with no regard for our input in negotiations. Instead of an annual raise, we’d get a $1,000 check that was taxed at 45 percent.
During contract negotiations, they wouldn’t tell us anything. There might be a Zoom meeting, but you couldn’t ask questions. You just get what they give you.
I’ve only been in NUHW since March, but the difference is night and day. With NUHW, we all have a say, and I like to be able to state my opinion and have people actually listen.
Fountain Valley Regional Hospital