Letters to the Editor for Aug 21, 2003
Thursday, August 21, 2003
Nurses Should Stick Together--Alone
I have been an RN for 32 years. My experience includes CHOMP and several large Chicago hospitals. Comparatively, CHOMP is the crème de la crème.
I was just told that the union would exclude my ballot in the September 10 election (along with seventeen other RN's). Unless a tiebreaker is needed. Already, the union is "disregarding" my voice and dividing us, separating me and others from our "caring community." If the union is voted in, I will be reinstated to our "community" so I can pay my union dues.
Whose best interests are being considered here? The union splashed down last year. Their representatives cause dissension among workers, pressure new employees and others with harassment at home (phone calls and visits), and distribute misguided information. I find these actions detrimental to my working environment and our community.
I am an educated, experienced professional. I do not need, nor do I want a Sally Robbins (an RN with two years experience and only at CHOMP) or a union to speak for me in my chosen profession. I invite all Registered Nurses at CHOMP to vote no September 10. Let's work together to expand our caring community--without a union.
Shirley E. Granstrom, RN | Pacific Grove
Reed Should Bend
As a citizen and taxpayer, I watch with interest the drama that is happening in our county. I see that Monterey County workers are dissatisfied because, among other factors, they are forced to bear the brunt of health insurance cost if they can afford the premiums at all, while the CAO [County Administrative Officer Sally Reed] has generously lined the pockets of senior management.
Something is wrong here. On a different level, such performance would be grounds for involuntary job termination.
But I also see that the Hyatt Corporation and Local 483 have come to an agreement. An agreement that union members will most likely ratify, an agreement that "delivers the respect and dignity for the work that the members do for the Hyatt and Highlands," according to Leonard O'Neill. I believe that what County rank-and-file workers ask for is no different.
In the business world today, job performance is based on the number of negatives an employee incurs. If your negatives become major or numerous, your employment is at stake. This concept can be no different for a CAO.
The CAO has positives to her credit. But the big negative is that this person has earned the enmity of County employees (senior management excepted). And this enmity overshadows her positives.
Give her credit on this issue. The CAO has a history of being anti-union and clashing with anyone else who opposes her. Given this information, why do two members of the Board continue to be loyal to her on a problem that has been drawn out long enough?
There is so much discord when there needs to be consensus, when there needs to be reason, accommodation and compromise satisfactory to all parties. The Board has to take a much more proactive and stronger role in resolving this divisiveness. And do it now. It is their job and responsibility to come to a resolution. Board members, please think about election time!
We live in an age where new and imaginative, maybe radical, solutions have to be applied to solve problems. It just cannot be business as usual any longer.
Rather than the unions and the County via the CAO and the Board working together to solve problems, the old ways of doing business have resulted in a great divide and dissatisfaction.
From the local newspapers I see the CAO is tough. Unlike her namesake, the CAO is like the mighty oak that stands fast in the storm.
M.K. Singh | Seaside
The Rich Should Pay More
The rest of the nation must be tickled to pee with our state's recall and our epidemic of governor wannabes. That's okay. We've had their laughter before, then watched them follow our footsteps.
What we need to do, rather than reflecting on what others think, is to exercise some self-reflection. Other than the same old dirty politics between Democrats and Republicans, what is the significance of this fray? What disease does this symptom of amok elections indicate? What are the issues underlying the battle?
We need to talk about what is really bugging us: We're broke because of 1) malfeasance on the part of the big energy corporations and their political puppets, 2) insufficient income from taxes, due to the burst bubble of speculative investment in high-tech and to the recession, and 3) the biggest income earners don't pay their share in the expenses of our infrastructure.
Simple: Raise taxes, particularly on the top 10 percent, whose incomes have continued soaring while the rest of us are in recession. The Repubs don't believe in taxes because they are too greedy. The Dems are too scared to talk about tax hikes.
Then there are the social issues:
Economic racism is on the rise. People of color (the majority in California) are less represented in the higher incomes and universities than 10 years ago.
Classism is booming, as revealed in the real estate boom since Prop. 13, increasing the proportion of middle class and poor people who cannot afford housing in our state.
California spends three times more on incarceration than education.
The state has fallen behind schedule on water resource development and on environmental cleanup.
Illegal immigrants and legal resident non-citizens have suffered losses of rights and liberty, the first sign of totalitarianism.
Press--it's time you stop reporting numbers and symptoms and start investigating and analyzing this election.
W. Mark Poehner | Monterey