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CNA/NNOC Wins Key Legal Decision Protecting Right of Public Employees to Strike
Date:4/22/2008

Ruling Also Upholds Rights of 10,000 University of California RNs to

Bargain Over Improved Patient Safety

OAKLAND, Calif., April 22 /PRNewswire/ -- In a huge victory for public employees, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee today won a major legal decision on behalf of the 10,000 University of California registered nurses it represents to strike, and to bargain over improved staffing and other patient care issues.

In a decision released today by the state Public Employee Relations Board, the University also lost an effort to collect $9 million from CNA/NNOC for its claimed costs for a scheduled July 2005 strike, enjoined by a state court, that had been called by the RNs over the University's refusal to bargain on key patient care issues.

"This is a refreshing acknowledgement of the fundamental, democratic right of California public employees to strike -- and a stunning rebuke for the University's attempts to silence the collective voice of UC nurses in our ongoing efforts to assure the highest standards of quality patient care for UC patients," said Geri Jenkins, RN, a member of the CNA/NNOC Council of Presidents and a UC San Diego RN.

Upholding the rights of all public employees

CNA/NNOC represents 10,000 UC registered nurses in five major medical centers as well as student health facilities across California.

But the ramifications of the decision affect all public employees in California, said CNA/NNOC.

"This is a critical affirmation of the right of public employees to strike if needed to defend their members and the public interest at a time when the University on behalf of other employers hoped to bar public workers from their constitutional right of free speech and assembly," Jenkins said. Notably, the University was represented in the case by one of the nation's most notorious anti-union law firms, Littler Mendelson.

The case dates back to a
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SOURCE California Nurses Association/National Nurses OrganizingCommittee
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