Saturday, April 7, 2012

Hospital condemned for discriminating vs Pinoy nurses

By Henni Espinosa – ABS-CBN North America Bureau
Filipino nurses, advocates and community groups flocked to the headquarters of the California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) Wednesday to condemn the hospital chain for discriminating against Filipinos.
“We are here because we are concerned for the Filipino nurses. We have been advocates for the Filipino nurses for many years,” said Lilian Galedo, Executive Director of Filipino Advocates for Justice.
Last August, the California Nurses Association (CNA) filed a class action grievance against CPMC after some former nurse managers complained that they were told not to hire Filipino nurses because “they’re hard to understand.”
CNA cited that in 2008, Filipinos comprised 48% of new hires among nurses at St. Luke’s, one of CPMC’s hospitals. The union said that number decreased to 10% today.
Filipino nurse Ron Villanueva was up for promotion when he said he heard the Vice President for Nursing say that she should stop hiring foreign graduates.
Villanueva said, “I didn’t prod or anything. The mere fact that she said, I was already discouraged. What was the point of me applying?”
Two months after the Filipino nurses and CNA filed a class action grievance, CPMC management agreed to meet with Filipino community leaders, except for complainants like Villanueva.
“That just means they’re really guilty of discrimination. Why can’t they face me and others who personally witnessed what they said against us Filipinos?” he asked.
Terry Valen, Executive Director of the Filipino Community Center, said CPMC’s management denied that discrimination ever took place.
“They told us that they have conducted an internal investigation on this. And we have yet to see the results of that investigation,” Valen said.
Filipino nurse Marilen Logan was also present at the meeting. She said there is no truth to claims of some of her kababayans that CPMC discriminates against Filipinos.
“When I heard about this, I thought it was a joke that came from the rumor mill. People at CPMC hire a lot of Filipino nurses. I just don’t see what they’re saying.”
But protesters stood by their word that CPMC targets Filipino nurses. Community leaders said that unless CPMC corrects this, they will support the Filipino nurses in filing a class action lawsuit against the hospital chain.
Jane Sandoval, a nurse at St. Luke’s Hospital for 25 years and a union leader said, “This is not just a fight for Filipino nurses. This is a fight against discrimination. Whoever feels abused, we will make sure to back them up.”

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