Baby wrote me a letter: Slapped with letters of discipline for standing by striking housekeepers and dietary workers, six registered nurses and their supporters held a protest Sept. 13 outside Enloe Medical Center.
On Sept. 2, housekeepers and food service workers represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) held a one-day strike in an attempt to garner higher wages and better benefits.
Enloe Spokesperson Ann Prater said the hospital took the disciplinary action because the nurses’ union contract forbids them from participating in sympathy strikes.
But David Welch, chief nurse rep for the California Nurses Association, said the nurses never picked up picket signs, handed out leaflets nor boycotted as forbidden by the contract; they only stood alongside SEIU members during a noon rally and a candlelight vigil. Secondly, their actions weren’t against Enloe but rather Compass, the outside contractor who employs the striking workers.
The action comes on the heels of a blow to Enloe in which the National Labor Relations Board on Sept. 8 upheld the results of a close election that would establish a union for 600 nurse assistants, technicians and aides.
The other side: Mary Cahill, who was terminated Sept. 6 as general manager of the Chico Area Recreation District, took issue with CARD board and media characterizations of her parting.
While a press release issued by CARD attorney Jeff Carter stated Cahill was “terminated … without cause,” Cahill said she left by “mutual agreement” after much discussion over a period of time. She was given $100,000 in severance pay as required by her contract.
“I was not fired,” Cahill said. “It was a discussion and it was definitely both-sided. … It makes it look like I did something wrong when I didn’t,” she added.
Chico student dead in crash: An early-morning car accident last weekend left one Chico State student dead and two others injured, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Paul James Garcia, 22, wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the back seat of the 1997 Volkswagen he was in, which was going southbound on Highway 99 near Highway 162. The driver, 21-year-old Jamie Sinclair, told the CHP that she was tired, which led to the vehicle swerving across the northbound lane and overturning. Sinclair suffered moderate facial lacerations.
The other passenger, 21-year-old Kevin Deeds, suffered from severe facial lacerations. Both survivors were wearing seatbelts.
How much for the park? The county supes told the Chico Area Recreation District (CARD) to see if it couldn’t pare down an increase in builders’ park fees that would see them jump from a median of $1,880 to $2,706. These are the fees that builders must pay for each single-family home they build to help CARD pay for the parks new residents will supposedly use.
CARD needs the supes’ approval to raise the fees, but some of the supes believe that too many fees stifle development. While CARD feels the increase is justified by climbing home prices, Richvale Supervisor Curt Josiassen questioned that assertion, saying increases should be based on the cost of land, not housing.
The board didn’t turn down the increase outright but voted to send a letter to CARD asking for a somewhat smaller increase.