Monday, August 23, 2010

Nursing a grudge?

Guambat and Mrs Guambat have fairly recently had the occasion to travel to Manila, he for a general medical health check up, she for new eyes. We each experienced, first hand, the "Team Filipino" approach to providing services in the P.I.: your are pleasantly treated to a wave of people taking care of you, similar to the way servicemen would gang-tackle cars as they stopped for gas in what was, in the great hey-day of American automobile life, well and truly a "service station".

With that still freshish in the memory, the following item caught Guambat's eye.

Nurses accuse Pacific Medical Center of bias
The California Nurses Association filed a grievance with the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, accusing the hospital of discriminating against Filipino nurses at its St. Luke's campus.

The union of registered nurses, which has been embroiled in a contract dispute at California Pacific Medical Center, on Thursday also called on the San Francisco Human Rights Commission to investigate the hospital. The union claimed the percentage of Filipino nurses hired at St. Luke's dropped from 48 percent between January 2007 and February 2008 to just 10 percent after February 2008.

"The claims made by the California Nurses Association are ridiculous" says Dr. Warren Browner, chief executive officer of the hospital, in a statement. He said the hospital has diverse hiring policies and a long-standing commitment to equality.

Read more:

Management's response: A False Allegations by CNA Union Designed to Cover Negotiation Failures
Nurses and hospital managers at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco today said that union claims of discrimination are false and designed to cover up the union’s own failure to win a contract despite three years of negotiations.

Emilia Maninang RN, Clinical Nurse Manager in the Skilled Nursing Facility/Sub-Acute care unit at St. Luke’s, backed the statements made by hospital administrators.

“I have worked at St. Luke’s for 19 years and no one has ever told me not to hire Filipino nurses,” says Maninang. “I’m Filipino and if I had heard anyone say that I would’ve been appalled. I think the claims are part of CNA’s agenda to try and make CPMC look bad.”

Rose Duya RN, who has been at St. Luke’s for 12 years says “When I heard the allegations made by the union I thought, ‘They must be desperate’. I’m Filipino, most of my colleagues here at St. Luke’s are Filipino and I have been to many of the other CPMC campuses and have seen many other Filipinos there as well, so I don’t see how the union can make those claims.”

“The claims made by the California Nurses Association are ridiculous” says Dr. Browner. “In 2007, 63% of our nurses at St. Luke’s were Asian. Today that number is 66%. We do not have any way of identifying what percentage of our nurses are Filipino because we don’t break down these categories by ethnicity or country of origin. In fact, the only data we have on ethnicity are self-reported by our employees using categories approved by the Federal government such as Asian, Hispanic or Latino, Black or African American or White (non-Hispanic)”

During the past several weeks, CPMC has offered to give nurses a 2 percent raise. The hospital believes the nurses deserve the raise for their hard work and dedication to patient care.

The California Nurses Association claims: RNs, Filipino Community Groups Charge Sutter Health/California Pacific with Hiring Ban on Filipino Nurses
At the press conference, CNA provided testimony by former nursing supervisors at CPMC and nurses who have faced the discriminatory practices – and hiring data documenting the results.

CPMC’s VP of Nursing: “You are not to hire any Filipinos”

Chris Hanks, a former director of Critical Care Services at CPMC, said in a declaration that Karner, told him on a number of occasions, “you are not to hire any Filipinos.”

Another former nurse supervisor Ronald Villanueva said in a declaration that he also heard Karner tell another supervisor, “do not hire foreign graduate nurses” – an unambiguous reference to Filipinos.

The hiring data bears that out. A review by CNA of active employee lists provided by CPMC demonstrates that in early 2008 there was a major demographic shift among the nurses being hired at St Luke’s. Before February 2008, 65% of St Luke’s RNs were Filipino. After February 2008, only 10% of RNs hired were Filipino.

“St. Luke’s and CPMC RNs, many of them Filipino, have been outspoken in defense of their patients, and in opposition to Sutter and CPMC’s plans to reduce services to the largely lower income, minority community depending on St. Luke’s from SOMA to the Excelsior,” said CNA Co-president Zenei Cortez, RN.

One apparently (just by guessing from the name -- Emil Guillermo) Filipino says: California hospital bans hiring of Filipino nurses
Next to cheap garments at Wal-Mart and female impersonators, I’d have to put them on the top of the list as the Philippines’ leading export.

If the country had a team mascot, it would have to be the “Fighting Nurses.” (Notre Dame has the “Fighting Irish,” why not?)

Guambat wonders why, assuming, like the sexist Guambat he is, that most of the nurses from the P.I. are women, they are not then referred to as Filipinas in all those articles.



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