Local 1000 members will testify in support of bill banning mandatory OT


As part of Local 1000’s campaign to ban mandatory overtime for nurses and certified nursing assistants in units 20 and 17, members will testify before an Assembly committee on Wednesday in support of AB 840. 

Last week Local 1000’s LVN Workgroup lobbied legislators in support of the legislation, which would eliminate mandatory overtime for nurses and certified nursing assistants in state prisons and mental hospitals.

We’re telling legislators that this is a critical health and safety issue for patients and employees because we are forced to work so much overtime it is unsafe,” said Eileen Fowler-Jones, a licensed vocational nurse at Valley State Prison in Chowchilla.  “I fell asleep and drifted off the road after working four 16-hour shifts in four days. We all have stories like that.”

In 2001, California’s Industrial Welfare Commission banned mandatory overtime for nurses in the private sector, but the ban didn’t include public sector workers. AB 840 would extend the protection to the public sector. Eleven other states have already adopted similar legislation that would eliminate mandatory overtime for nurses and nursing assistants in the state prisons and mental hospitals. 

The bill is similar to AB 2155, which was passed by both legislative houses last year but which the governor chose not to sign. During that fight, hundreds of nurses, certified nursing assistants and other state employees staged rallies, signed petitions and sent letters to support the ban on mandatory overtime. Local 1000 members are organizing similar efforts this year to support AB 840. 

If you want to get involved in the campaign or wish to share a story about mandatory overtime, send an email to 840yes@seiu1000.org.