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Petaluma Staff Nurse Partnership

PSNP 2024 State of the Union

Petaluma Valley Hospital Nurses,


I wanted to take a couple minutes of your time to give a recap on 2023 and to let you know what is in store for 2024 from the PSNP perspective.


2023 had a lot going on and was a very busy time for our Union. Providence has kept us on the move for sure!


We held many protests and media interviews concerning the closing of our OB unit and continue to talk with and apply pressure where we can, with the PHCD board as they navigate trying to hold Providence accountable for the closure and hopefully get it reopened and functional again. For 2024, the legal challenge versus reopening to avoid the legal fight, will be a decision for Providence to make. We encourage all of you to pay attention to this issue and if PSNP asks for your help in attending a PHCD board meeting or action, that you come out in force!


We have had a lot of good things come out of our monthly Labor Management meetings in 2023. Things to help the workplace be a safer environment for you and our patients. We discussed and made some improvements on everything from getting needed equipment to paychecks, from staffing levels and break relief. From Security on site to continuing education, feels like there wasn’t a topic we didn’t hit(and some of them we feel like a broken record over!) For 2024, We will keep LM a place where PSNP can take its concerns(your concerns), directly to management and in a lot of cases, make improvements or clarify positions in the contract for problem resolution at a low level, avoiding the need for Grievances.


2023 has been a challenging and seemingly productive year for our Acuity Committee too. We have walked a narrow line between getting a staffing system that is based on acuity(one that follows Title 22 and our contract) and needing to file a Grievance with the Hospital over the lack of the aforementioned system. The members of your Acuity Committee are methodical and persistent and 2024, if everything goes right, will include education on proper charting to accurately capture patient acuity and then finally we will have an acuity system we can evaluate and determine safe patient staffing levels. This has been a lot of work for the acuity members and if you run into one of them, give them a sincere thank you for their efforts.


The Professional Performance Committee had a slow start to 2023 as members ebbed and flowed, but the back end of 2023 had a PPC that came on strong. Monthly communications to the BU about safety issues addressed at PPC became the norm and all your ADOs(Assignment Despite Objection form) are being digitally uploaded every month, put on the spreadsheet and tracked for unsafe situations and patterns. This has helped clarify and highlight issues that have resulted in many direct calls to the State for violations of Title 22. Huge step in utilizing the ADO, which can protect you in a court of law, should you ever be in that situation but those ADOs also help everyone of your coworkers out because of the increased ability the PPC has to track and share staffing concerns or violations with the California Department of Public Health.


PSNP members also voted in 2023, agreeing to an affiliation agreement with NUHW, sharing resources and a Union Representative.  This model is unheard of and places PSNP Nurses and PVH NUHW represented folks in a unique and powerful position when it comes to dealing with Providence. 2024 is going to hold negotiations for most of PVH’s employees(NUHW) and should also contain the beginnings of negotiations for PSNP as well. PSNP will be looking to begin negotiations well before the contract expires in March of 2025 to avoid going off contract if possible.


The new Rep’s name is and I was told that she is kind, hard working, personable and not afraid to stand her ground and fight for the people she represents! Aliya is a great addition to the PSNP Team and since she is the Rep for not only PSNP but NUHW folks in PVH, the ability of both unions to coe together for a better work environment and better patient outcomes is HUGE! We are thankful and blessed to have her. Give her that  uniquely PVH welcome we all love!



Hi folks! My name is Aliya Francisco (she/her) and I am your new PSNP/NUHW Rep/organizer. Here's just a little about my background -

In college, I studied political sociology and organized on behalf of housing-insecure students. From there, I did a quick stint as an assistant at a labor-side law firm before getting closer to the action as an organizer representing hotel workers at UNITE HERE Local 2 in San Francisco. While there, I had the opportunity to see where I best fit into the labor movement. I tried everything from campaign research to political organizing to new organizing. What I found the most rewarding was connecting with members in our shops and figuring out how to build and maintain our collective power together. I joined NUHW last year as an organizer for our mental health care workers and am now transitioning into representing you all!

Please don’t hesitate to reach me at or at my cell (628) 777-6045. I’ll see you around the hospital!


















There is a lot more I could add in there but I know you don’t want to read a book!  2024 is gonna pose some challenges for PVH Nurses. Some we know and others that haven’t revealed themselves yet, but if you stick together, anything is possible. I want to encourage all of you to help more with your Union, wherever you can. As good as things are now, they could absolutely be better with everyone chipping in and engaging more often. This is your union and the protections in your contract need constant defending. I would love to see more PSNP/PVH activists in 2024!


 WE(YOU) are the union and together WE can do SO MUCH more! Never doubt that.


Here’s to you all and to working together in 2024 for the betterment of all,


Jim Goerlich

PSNP President


Quarterly Meeting Get Together! Next One on October 29th. Groverman Hall, 2-6pm. Come on out! Lunch Provided!

The Press Democrat Article 5/1/23

‘It’s not right’: Dozens rally outside Petaluma Valley Hospital to protest closure of obstetrics unit

Demonstrators criticize Providence for failing to operate birth center until 2025 as agreed.


Open PVH OB!

I just wanted to send a quick update after the strong showing and energy I witnessed at the OB Picket to say, “You all are awesome!”. From the crew that organized the picket to the Nurses that came in on their day off, before or after shift or the steady stream of employees that came out during their shifts, you all made quite a showing! As someone who has helped organize many actions, I was very proud and happy to see so many of you out on the line.

We had well over a hundred Nurses, CNAs, Respiratory Techs, ED techs, EVS, Laboratory, etc coming together in protest over this tragedy. We were joined by Petaluma’s Vice-Mayor Janice Cader Thompson as well as Representatives from Sacramento, all offering support for the legal fight that is needed to reverse the closure and mandate Providence honor the contract they signed with the Healthcare district when they purchased PVH.

NUHW was a huge factor in making the picket a success as well. They have been right in there in this fight and continue to do all they can to make PVH employees have the strongest collective voice we can. NEVER take that voice and the actions we do for granted. Together we can do SO much.

On that note, all eyes are now on the PHCD Board. All parties are expecting and waiting to hear that a lawsuit against Providence has been filed. To be continued.

Until then, lets keep supporting our amazing and resilient ER crew as they bear a major portion of the burden Providence has created in the closing of our Family Birthing Center.

I will leave you with this….

Inaction IS an action….choose wisely.

My best to you all,

Jim Goerlich

PSNP President



Sign and Share!

Sign and Send this petition to all your friends and family, on your social media outlets, etc and encourage your people to do the same. 

We, the undersigned Petaluma community members, call on Providence to keep open the Family Birthing Center at Petaluma Valley Hospital. 

The Family Birthing Center is a vital and lifesaving service. Over the years, thousands of our neighbors have been born there and its closure could have devastating results for babies and our community as a whole.

We stand with our Petaluma Healthcare District board, which has voted to reject Providence’s request to close down the birthing center, a move which in turn would send pregnancy related emergencies to their already overburdened PVH Emergency Room, setting the stage for even more devastating outcomes.

Providence is a large and profitable company that should be investing in our community — not taking away vital OB services!

To SIGN THE PETITION Click Link below 

Petaluma Healthcare District Board Meeting 2/15/23

Rally Flyer

Rally Flyer Spanish 

Providence moves to close the PVH OB Department, Deliver Risky Dialysis, Ignore Safe Staffing State Regulations and Continues to Run an Understaffed Emergency Room!

The many Concerns and Latest Updates from PSNP, the Nurse-run Union of Petaluma Valley Hospital Nurses...

OB/GYN: PROVIDENCE HAS SUBMITTED THEIR INTENT TO CLOSE OUR OB/GYN UNIT 3 YEARS EARLY!!! Under the purchase agreement, Providence still has 3 years before they can begin to talk about closing this unit, a move we have known they have wanted to do for a long time, but the purchase agreement states if Providence wants to make any changes to the purchase agreement they can do so ONLY WITH THE PHCD Board’s OK. If after Providence presents their case to the Petaluma Health Care District Board, the Board agrees to let them close our OB Department, that is exactly what they will do! However, if the PHCD Board denies them the ability to close the Unit, Providence must keep open and invest in our OB department and uphold their commitment to the community for at least the next 3 years. Historically, OB units are not big money makers for hospitals (if you are only looking at the day-to-day monetary making capabilities of the unit itself that is) and ours is no different. However, is every individual unit turning a profit really the goal of Providence? Is that where this healthcare provider puts it’s value on a service? Isn’t the ultimate goal to assist in helping the community you serve safer and healthier?  Much of Petaluma’s and Sonoma County’s life literally begins at Petaluma Valley Hospital and creating a gap in obstetric services between Marin and Santa Rosa is SO DANGEROUS, not to mention irresponsible. Our OB/GYN unit has earned an incredible list of awards and recognitions over the years for the amazing care they offer our community and they deliver us all a safety net that is worth more than gold.  What PVH and this community needs and should demand from Providence is to put forth a real investment and effort into attracting/supporting Doctors in bringing their practices to PVH, an expansion of the OB services it offers and attracting Nurses to our OB unit by providing a STABLE work environment. These are things which our OB Nurses and MDs have been asking for a long time. We are asking you to think about just how vital this service is to our community. It is a protection we can’t afford to lose. You can help immediately by emailing the Petaluma Health Care District Board and voicing your expectation that they vote to make Providence uphold their end of the deal at


Dangerously low staffing due to a new charting software:  State regulation, Title 22 states that hospital staffing levels need to be based off of patient needs and devise an ‘acuity’ tool to objectively evaluate that.  As the amount of patients or the amount of care a patient needs goes up or down, staffing levels are to reflect that variable demand for care. Providence changed to EPIC charting about a year ago and since that time, has been dragging its feet to create a tool which staffing levels are based off of. Our Union, PSNP, drafted up a plan which we presented tot he Hospital on how to get from where we are now to where we need to be in order be in compliance with Title 22 and actually staff to patient cmplexity, not just how many patients are currently admitted in the hospital.  We are presently at a fork in the road on this issue and by our next installment of this newsletter, we will either be moving forward with that plan or we will have filed a grievance over it. There are many, many shifts every month where one unit or another is short staffed and more often than not, that short staffing makes it difficult, if not downright dangerous to be a patient. We don’t use the word dangerous lightly, but without proper staffing, more mistakes happen. When staffing is short, patient care suffers and patients don’t get the help they need soon enough(example: there are more patient falls, more medication errors, more orders missed, patients in pain aren’t attended to as quickly as they need, etc) Staffing that reflects our patient’s needs is a MUST and is something that you as a patient deserve and should expect.

 Emergency Room Staffing.  We lose most of our Emergency Room (ER) Staff to other facilities because of our chronically low staffing levels and the work environment that it produces. We know how other Emergency Rooms in the area are staffed and the reports are that they have the support they need. We have amazing ER Nurses, but they are only human and they to work in an environment where they are more often than not running short and stressed out, due to short staffing. This creates long waits for patients as well as a whole slew of other problems. The Hospital has recognized the issue verbally and has made some moves to improve staffing levels, but we still have a ways to go if we are going to attract and RETAIN staff. We have asked for more help from ancillary staff and for the introduction of voluntary on-call shifts to help staff have some breathing space and a plan ‘B” for when things get hectic. More on this in our next newsletter.


Thanks for taking the time and having concern enough to read this letter. We are glad to be able to bring this update to you. For more information or if you want to give us some feedback, ask questions or find ways you can help our cause, visit us on our Nurse run website,


Petaluma Valley's Emergency Dept Needs the Community's Attention

Dear Community Members,

The work environment in our Emergency Room is in serious need of support.  The staff there, for various reasons have been working for quite some time and on many shifts with what they would call less than safe staffing.  The Hospital has been taking some steps to correct this ongoing issue and has repeated an interest in continuing to work to rectify the situation, but we need to let the public know what requests have been made by staff of the Hospital in the hope that shedding some light on the topic will translate to a safer Emergency Room for patients and staff alike.  That is not to say that our ER is unsafe, but it is a VERY true statement that our ER needs to be much safer than it currently is and there needs to not only be enough hands on deck to treat a regular flow of patients, but there needs to be some back-up plans in place for when everything hits the fan.

Below is a petition that has circulated throughout the Emergency Department and was presented to Hospital Administration recently.  The Hospital has agreed to meet and work with staff to meet the overall goal of safer staffing which in turn leads to staff retention and a stronger team in general.  We will continue to update you on how things progress. Thank you for your attention and interest in your community hospital.


Your Slideshow


So Fun!

For those of you who missed the informational picket out in front of Memorial Hospital last Wednesday, I feel sorry for you!  What a missed opportunity to meet/hangout with some really good people, help support your colleagues, yourselves, build the coalition of your local Nurses, Ancillary staff and other local unions and pro-labor groups, raise awareness to this ongoing fiasco that is Genesis and have a BLAST doing it! Check out the attached pictures!

For me, I came away with the thought of how lucky we are to not only be ABLE to protest and speak up for one another, but Wednesday was a reminder of how lucky we are to have such a strong group of like minded folks just to the north of us and we are all looking out for each others’ welfare. Please NEVER take these things for granted. Without organizing and contract enforcement/oversight, your workplace comforts and rights will evaporate quickly. I have seen it in other states and facilities that are not unionized.

We were joined on the picket line by members and representatives from PSNP, SNA, NUHW, the Teamsters and Jackie Elward, the Mayor of Rohnert Park came, spoke and lent her support! We had a few local residents who saw what was happening stay and pick up a picket sign and fill in for those of you couldn’t make it!  They felt it was the right thing to do or their responsibility to help(their words).

I spent a lot of the day walking with friends who, over the years, had relocated from PVH to SRMH and it felt so good to be out in the streets with them and catch up on everything in general. We really are in this thing together.

Stay tuned for further opportunities to support our combined efforts and for opportunities to keep building this coalition of friends that will only makes us all stronger in the long run. For those of you who still want to join in on the fun, Nurse Blake is coming to the Luther Burbank Center on the 7th of September.  There is a large group of Nurses from both PSNP and SNA going and we plan to get some dinner and drinks prior.  This is gonna be a blast so join us if you at all can.

Another opportunity for fun and education has been offered to PVH by SNA. We have been invited to participate in a class on September 20th, 2022, taught by Laura Mahlmeister titled, “Nurses at the Front Line Serving the 21st Century Challenges”. Attached is a link to the flyer and QR code to make signing up easy. Don’t wait as seats are limited.  Below is a brief synopsis of what will be discussed and Nurses who have listened to Laura before said she is amazing and listening to her will change your practice.

 ”Nursing practice is driven by a growing number of mandates including laws, evidence-based practice guidelines and patient safety standards. The nurse’s ability to comply with these requirements often is at odd with employer’s cost containment efforts and corporate profit margin considerations. When nurse, staffing levels are inadequate to achieve outcome goals, patient safety is jeopardized, and nurses are at heightened risk for work-related injuries, psychological stress, and burnout. This presentation will help nurses achieve a satisfying and successful clinical practice.”

Alright everyone. That’s it for now.  Watch for the monthly update where we will be updating you on what comes out of Labor Management and with the ongoing Covid Pay and Genesis Grievances.

Jim Goerlich
PSNP President


Thank You to everyone who came out for the rally on Friday!  We had a great time for a great cause.  Overall we had 70 plus employees that came out and many friends/community members/pets joined in as well. The radio broadcast on Inside Petaluma went well with lots of good feedback.  The Argus covered the action and Mayor Barrett and City Council member Dennis Pocekay lended their support. Our friends and coworkers from NUHW and SNA walked the picket line with us as we all focus on safer staffing.  Overall it was a really great day and we are sure Kitty Brown, whose life and legacy we celebrated on Friday would have been proud. We will keep you all updated on next steps.  Thanks again!

The first thing that needs to be said is that a Union is only as strong as its ability of its members to stand united and fight for a common cause. The second thing that needs to be said is that no one will fight harder for you than you.

There are multiple wrongs the Hospital has committed that your help is critical in righting and one or more of them either directly or indirectly effects all of us.  A couple of them, like the Dialysis issue and the Hospital's use of our PTO and the cancelling of shifts has the potential to have long lasting negative effects on us if the Hospital were to prevail.

May 13th is an "all hands-on deck" day, and we are asking all of you who can possibly participate to do so.  Bring family, friends, pets if you wish and LET'S MAKE SOME NOISE!

Providence made a deal with Nurses planning to retire in the next couple of years and now they are trying to back out of that agreement and stiff these Nurses who have given so much to all of us. It is SO wrong and these amazing, dedicated friends and colleagues of ours need our help!

Providence refuses to put needed safety nets surrounding Dialysis delivery into writing and the potential for negative, even deadly outcomes rests in our ability to ensure these safety nets are memorialized. We are talking about protecting lives and livelihoods here folks as you as the bedside Nurse will potentially be held responsible for any negative outcomes that stem from a botched dialysis session.

Providence took from Nurses PTO accounts without consent and cancelled Nurses shifts outside the contractual allowances during Covid which has had a direct effect on Nurses incomes and their ability to take time off now for instances of being sick or needing time off for other reasons. If the Hospital was allowed to prevail here, the ripple effect of how and when they could use your PTO or cancel you from your scheduled shift would be disastrous! 

Staffing is per Title 22 supposed to be based on patient acuity and the Acuity Committee has been struggling for months trying to get an acuity tool in place that is teachable, verifiable and used to determine staffing levels. They keep getting the run around and we are saying enough is enough. Staff to patient needs! Stop shortchanging our patients and stop adding to an already often stressful workplace by constantly working with short staffing levels!  Think, "No one available from lab today", "No lab personnel on night shift", "send a CNA home after 4 hours because the Matrix only calls for 2.5 CNAs", "the ER has no one on call for emergencies or sick calls", "we can't find Nurses to hire for OB/GYN", etc. Enough!

May 13th will also be a time to celebrate. We will be celebrating the one-year mark of having our first contract and the many things we have accomplished in this past year that have helped make PVH safer than it was prior to ratification.  We will also be celebrating the life of our longtime friend, colleague and Nurse/Patient Advocate extraordinaire, Kitty Brown, who passed away in February.

We have a lot of actions and events planned for the day with most of them taking place between the hours of 10am and 2pm. Inside Petaluma 103.3fm will be covering the picket line between 11am and noon, so please do your best to be out in front of the hospital during those hours if possible.

As always, I am grateful for your commitment to help each other, standing up for your patients and your profession. We are patient advocates above all else and keeping our patients and workplace safe is Nursing 101.


Thanks, and see you all on the 13th,

Jim Goerlich

SNP President & PVH Nurse for 22 years


In early 2016, Petaluma Valley Hospital Nurses filed a petition to decertify from CNA (California Nurses Association), the registered nurses union that had represented us for the past 30 years. The decision did not come lightly and was the result of a steady decline in effective, honest, and appropriate representation by CNA. 

The nurses of PVH wanted a union that could advocate for them and their patients, a union that wasn't married to the corporation they claimed to protect us from, a union that was focused on protecting PVH nurses and patients, instead of racking up union dues and doing backroom deals with St Joseph Health to increase their revenue stream.

Mid 2016, a core group of nurses formed PVH’s very first in-house, nurse-run union called Petaluma Staff Nurse Partnership (SNP). A union FOR nurses, BY nurses. All we heard was “you can’t do it, don’t go small!” but in December of 2016 we held a historic vote that resulted in SNP becoming the new union to represent registered nurses at PVH.

After nearly 4 years of negotiations, on March 24th SNP and Petaluma Valley Hospital came to an agreement on a contract and the bargaining unit voted to ratify! Now the real work can begin. SNP continues to fight for the safety and rights of Petaluma Valley Hospital nurses.


To make an anonymous complaint  regarding patient care or patient safety,

The California Department of Public Health:

Phone: 707-576-6775


The Joint Commission (JACHO):

Phone: 800-944-6610

To make anonymous complaint regarding
missed meal period, rest period, or overtime, call:

The Department of Industrial Relations:

Phone: 707-576-2362





SNP has been chronicling their story on this website since May of 2017. If you would like to read more, please visit the blog page for archived updates.