Nurses Make a Difference: Anytime, Anywhere–Always

Article Published in May 5, 2023

Every year, from May 6 to May 12 (Florence Nightingale’s birthday), we honor nurses everywhere for the irreplaceable role they play in our health and the health of our communities. SEIU Local 1000-represented Registered Nurses in Unit 17 work tirelessly across California to provide essential services to some of the most vulnerable populations in our state, in some of the most taxing and hectic workplaces.

“These are high-risk, front-line jobs,” said Vanessa Seastrong, chair of the Unit 17 Bargaining Unit Negotiating Committee (BUNC). “We had people from state hospitals share their horror stories of unsafe working conditions.”

National Nurses Week encourages organizations across the country to celebrate the dedication, commitment, and outstanding contributions nurses make to health care every day. Whether they provide care on the frontlines of battle or in an operating room, clinic, or nursing home, they have been professionally trained to provide excellent care.

Nurses have seen and endured a lot, especially so over the last three years. From the inherent risks of COVID in the workplace to changing policies and uncertain safety regulations to long hours and irregular schedules, they bore the brunt of a crisis that consumed public life.

As we sit down to bargain a new contract, our nurses have made their voices—and their frustrations—heard as they fight for a contract that will respect, protect, and pay them for the work they have done for their fellow Californians.

“We will be with our members at the table the whole way, and we’re expecting our members to stand up for nurses and other staff to ensure we all get what we need,” said Mary Naidoo, Vice Chair for the Unit 17 BUNC.

The best way to support nurses and honor their sacrifices is to support their efforts to receive the pay and dignity they deserve. Our union is strong because we fight for each other. If you’re not already a member, we encourage you to join us today. And be sure to Purple Up in your workplace every Wednesday to show your support for your union brothers and sisters.