Members organize for workplace safety
Emergency call light system repaired after a march on city hall
Thanks to the efforts of Local 1000 members advocating for patient safety at Salinas Valley State Prison (SVSP), the long-broken emergency call light system there has been repaired.
Call lights, which alert nurses on duty to an emergency need of an inmate patient, have been broken for several years. The prison’s stopgap solution has been to assign a nurse to walk between rooms and visibly check for inmates in distress; that practice leaves about 15 life-threatening minutes between checks at current staffing levels. After their demands for a fix went unheeded by management, Local 1000 members at SVSP took action to get the call lights repaired. They took their concerns to Assemblymember Luis Alejo and Soledad Vice Mayor Alejandro Chavez and marched on Soledad City Hall.
“The repair of the call lights is a victory for the care of our patients,” said Nick Mannion, DLC 741 chief steward and an LVN at SVSP. “This happened because our members saw a problem and took action.”
But the call light repair is only part of the work the state needs to do: mandatory overtime and excessive workloads continue to threaten safety for patients and staff. Margarita Maldonado, vice president for bargaining, says easing the punishing schedules and patient loads of our RNs LVNs and CNAs is a top priority for the union.
“Getting the call lights finally fixed was a big win,” Maldonado said. “Local 1000 will continue the fight for patient safety and better working conditions for our members.”