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Petaluma Staff Nurse Partnership



Listen to union leaders and staff from Petaluma Valley Hospital, including Jim Goerlich RN, President of Petaluma Staff Nurse Partnership, Tyler Kissinger, Organizer for National Union of Healthcare Workers, Registered Nurses Jessica and Lisa, and Mayor Teresa Barrett discuss the decision of the Petaluma Health Care District to move forward with the sale of PVH to NorCal HealthConnect, a secular affiliate of Providence St. Joseph. Find out why the caregivers at PVH aren't ready to support the sale of the hospital to Providence St. Joseph. Click the button below to stream the radio broadcast and hear this engaging discussion around a range of topics affecting the Petaluma community.






"Vote NO on CC!  Any campaign that only features hospital administration and local big wigs with no actual health care workers promoting it is a RED FLAG to me!" B.A. Oakhill, Petaluma

"For five years, Providence has terribly treated its nurses, let the hospital mold proliferate, and now expects to slide into ownership. The healthcare district has let Petaluma down by DOING NOTHING except for wanting big $$$$. ..... Petalumans may think they like the small, cozy town, but they are allowing a mega corporation to come in to their very own hospital and forever continue to degrade our Petaluma Valley Hospital. Vote NO on Measure CC for the sake of our PVH!" L.K. Kenilworth, Petaluma

"Thank you for sharing this information. I had already heard that the nurses were not included in any decision making in the hospital contract. There should at least be one representative of the nurses in any decision making. That would be giving the nurses representations which they deserve. It would not mean allowing the nurses to direct how the hospital is managed. No representation equals no ability to express a decision based on their knowledge of how the hospital is run. We have no need to support an autocracy or an oligarchy in order to have a hospital in Petaluma." - P.W. Walnut Park, Petaluma

"This program actually resulted in my changing the vote I was going to cast in the ballot I just completed. It was a good program. I encourage everyone to tune in and listen." - S.K. Oak Hill, Petaluma

"It's always a red flag to me when people engage in scare tactics. That usually means some big business is trampling the rights of others. In this case, the nurses." - M.S. Oak Hill, Petaluma

"Getting through the fog of obfuscation appears to be the first task for an informed voter these days! Count me in as a "no" vote on CC." - D.D. Oak Hill, Petaluma

"I am so glad this thread was started. I am working on my ballot now and am new to the area so I am undecided about CC until I learn more. Off to investigate further at Inside Petaluma 103.3. Thank you." - M.W. Oak Hill Petaluma

"Paladin passed after obstacles from Providence. Sebastopol has a much smaller community and they tried to run it on their own. The Sebastopol hospital is now an excellent sub-acute facility FYI. If Providence is out of the way then a better entity BE ABLE to come in. In any case, Providence has to continue for another 2 1/2 yrs so the hospital won't close. Providence has played this whole situation like a cello." - L.K. Kenilworth, Petaluma

"I think we can do better than SELL our hospital to a business that does not treat nurses with respect. We also need to continue to provide gynecological services to women for more than 5 years. This is another short-term fix with long term negative consequences. Vote NO on Measure CC And I am not a nurse, and have never been one - but I think it is insane to lose control of our hospital." - B.A. Oak Hill, Petaluma


Save the Family Birthing Center at Petaluma Valley Hospital

Providence and its affiliate NorCal HealthConnect are in negotiations with the Petaluma Health Care District board to purchase Petaluma Valley Hospital. The proposal must be approved by Petaluma-area voters on November 3rd in Measure CC. As a part of the tentative sale agreement, Providence has only committed to keeping OB/GYN services at Petaluma Valley Hospital for 5 years. 

We insist that Providence increase their commitment to keeping OB/GYN services in Petaluma for years to come. Without these award-winning services, large portions of our local community will be without nearby high quality medical care for moms and babies, and residents will no longer be able to give birth at their local community hospital.

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Click here to read the article in The Argus Courier

Keep checking The Thumb!       

We would love to see that thumb move in the right direction, but only Providence/St. Joseph Health can make that happen. If you don't see it go green and upright, please DO NOT vote yes. If Providence/St. Joseph Health can't, or won't, operate Petaluma Valley Hospital in the right way, then they should not be allowed to continue to do so


The possible sale of your community hospital is not something you should take lightly. Petaluma Valley Hospital (PVH) is a valuable resource and safety net for all of us. Once sold, any control over the future of PVH (currently in the hands of the Petaluma Health Care District Board) is gone. Who PVH is sold to, what motivates business decisions, and what the long range plans are for PVH is crucial information to have prior to deciding whether or not to vote yes on the sale of PVH.

To be clear, a NO vote DOES NOT mean the hospital will close. It would mean that the Petaluma Health Care District Board (PHCD board) would again need to start looking for another operator for PVH. Providence has committed to 2 ½ years of operating PVH past the November if the vote is indeed a NO. This is a good amount of time for the PHCD board to earnestly search and secure another operator and/or owner who would commit to helping PVH live up to its potential and meet your expectations. This time Providence/St Joseph Health would not be over-shadowing this process.

Please understand that working as a Nurse under Providence/St Joseph Health has been extremely rough for your bedside caregivers for a long time. At this point the sale of our cherished hospital to Providence, without any shared vision or written commitments to make the needed changes to our work environment that would keep us and our patients safe, and keep the services our community has said are vital, seems like a very bad idea.

From our perspective there are some things Providence/St Joseph Health needs to do in order to show us they are serious about providing Petaluma with a hospital the community expects and deserves for many years to come. We would not recommend you allow the sale of PVH to Providence until you see these things happen.

1. Increase the commitment to providing OB/GYN serves at PVH! Providence is only committing to continuing OB/GYN services at PVH for 5 years. Did you know that our OB unit was recently rated one of the top places in the nation to have a baby? Our OB/GYN Nurses and medical staff offer amazing care, and losing this precious resource would be a disservice to our community. Petaluma residents and the PHCD board has said time and time again how important retaining OB services is to the community.

2. Settle the Nurse’s contract prior to the vote. Providence/St Joseph must agree to the language we need to keep you safe and allow us to become competitive with other local hospitals. This in turn will attract and retain high quality staff. PVH is known throughout the area for our extremely low wages and poor working conditions that those wages have helped create. Our Nurse turnover rate is off the charts. You deserve a hospital where Nurses desire to work, and desire to stay. Solid teamwork develops over time. The strongest teams are stable teams that work toward long range goals and create a safe environment for everyone.

3. Share the details of the sale offer with the community. We all have a right and must insist on seeing exactly what Providence/St Joseph Health is offering the voters of Petaluma. We shouldn’t sell our hospital without knowing exactly what this potential owner plans to do with it.

PVH Nurses want an employer we can be proud of. We want an employer that listens to its employees and sees us all as a valuable part of a team. We want an employer whose main goal is to provide the safest and best care possible for the patients of PVH. PVH Nurses are your front line advocates and we are the best gauge on whether or not Providence/St Joseph Health is making an offer that will keep the community safe. On this website we currently have a big red thumbs down in relation to the sale of PVH. We would like to see that thumb turn upright and green. This is possible if we see the changes outlined above. Please DO NOT vote yes  on measure CC until PVH Nurses say it is safe to do so! Your life may depend on it.



We two surgeons, Dr. Peter Leoni and Dr. Michael Bozuk, oppose Ballot Measure CC, that would allow Providence St. Joseph Healthcare to purchase Petaluma Valley Hospital. We are writing this letter in support of the Nurses of Petaluma Valley Hospital who also oppose Ballot Measure CC. Dr. Bozuk and I have been practicing as independent general surgeons in Petaluma for 15 and 24 years respectively. We have had a unique opportunity to witness the conversion of our local independent hospital to an understaffed and under-supplied subsidiary of Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital operated by the Providence St. Joseph Healthcare system. Local physicians who are employed by Provident St. Joseph Healthcare system have recently been featured in election brochures and media voicing their support for a “Yes” vote on Measure CC. We believe the people served by the Petaluma Health Care District deserve better. We also want to remind the people of Petaluma Healthcare District that sale of Petaluma Valley Hospital to Providence St. Joseph Healthcare system will convert our public District Hospital to a private hospital insulated from any public oversight. We have witnessed a decline in health care quality, access, and convenience during the tenure of Providence St. Joseph Healthcare at Petaluma Valley Hospital particularly in the field of General Surgery and the ancillary services which support our specialty. We have also observed a reduction in services to our patients, a shift of services to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, a loss of medical specialists and specialty services in the Emergency Department, more transfers of patients to other hospitals due to the loss of specialty services and restriction on medication available to surgeons and anesthesiologist through our pharmacy. In addition, we have seen:

-Unjust treatment of Petaluma Valley Hospital nurses by Providence St. Joseph Healthcare refusing to compensate them at equal base pay as the Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital nurses. Providence Saint Joseph Healthcare has waged a protracted contract dispute to maintain the inequitable level of compensation for Petaluma Valley Hospital nurses.

- Loss of gastroenterology specialist in our community and “On Call” in our Emergency Department.

- Loss of general surgeons “On Call” in our Emergency Department requiring import of temporary general surgeon from out of town to take ER calls.

- Loss of angiography in the Radiology Department at Petaluma Valley Hospital.

- Loss of Nuclear Medicine services on weekends at Petaluma Valley Hospital.

- Loss of basic interventional radiology services at Petaluma Valley Hospital.

- Refusal to pay Emergency Department On-Call specialists fair market rates to secure their services.

- General Surgeons listed “On Call” at Petaluma Valley Hospital Emergency Department who were not available pursuant to State requirements.

- Restricting the availability of medications at Petaluma Valley Hospital that are readily available at other Providence St. Joseph Healthcare Hospitals.

- Substantial facility upgrade issues and potential mold remediation.

The use of temporary surgeons has not enhanced in any way the quality of surgical care delivered to our patients. We are concerned with delays in diagnosis and surgery, unnecessary and expensive transfers to other hospitals and, in rare instances, transfers of unstable patients. The actions of this Administration, including the introduction of temporary and remote physicians to the Medical Staff, in our view, have eroded the patient-physician relationship and professional responsibility and accountability to the patient.

The Petaluma Healthcare District has made numerous, well-publicized attempts to find an operator other than Providence-St. Joseph Healthcare. The current attempt to sell the Hospital offers no evidence of attempts to find more suitable purchasers or operators or justification of the use of only one appraiser to set the sales price. Another alternative would be to dissolve the Petaluma Healthcare District and use the proposed purchase funds ($ 52.6 Million) instead for improvement of the Hospital and of working conditions of the employees and improvement of the professional staff. It makes no sense to retain a Hospital District with no Hospital. Will the people of Petaluma Healthcare District continued to be taxed for a Hospital which is no longer publicly owned? Indeed, to lavish 52 million dollars on an entity with no clear remaining mission seems ill-advised. Use these funds for Petaluma Valley Hospital, not some theoretical plan or vague community outreach.

There must be safeguards in place that protect patients’ rights, protect the patient-physician relationship and assure transparency in the operation of Petaluma Valley Hospital by Providence St. Joseph Healthcare and that restore quality of healthcare at Petaluma Valley Hospital for our community.

We recommend a “NO” vote on Measure CC.

Peter V. Leoni, MD FACS USNR Ret
Michael I. Bozuk, MD FACS


Bargaining Unit Negotiations Update: Early October 2020

Bargaining Unit Negotiations Update: Mid August 2020

Bargaining Unit Negotiations Update: End of July 2020

Bargaining Unit Negotiations Update: Mid July 2020

Bargaining Unit Negotiations Update: July 2020

Bargaining Unit Negotiations Update: June 2020

Bargaining Unit Negotiations Update: May 2020


Bargaining Unit Negotiations Update: March 31st 2020

PVH Nurses, 

We hope you are all as well as you can be, and taking good care of yourselves and your families during this crazy time. There is a lot of information out there as we try to adjust to this new norm and stay safe. So many of our PVH nurses have been actively gathering information, raising questions, reaching out to the community for support, and sounding the alarm over working conditions. It has been amazing to witness. There is no possible way we could have accomplished all that we have done in just this week alone without each other’s help and a continued commitment to safety for us all. THANK YOU (you know who you are)! 

There is a lot to get everyone caught up on and there is always the danger of missing something important if an email is too long, so this will be a two-part email. One now and one tomorrow.

For today... Do you remember that piddily 2% wage increase the hospital offered a couple months back? They offered it on the condition that we would not be involved in an “Informational Picket” for 90 days, among other things. Well, this last week highlighted exactly why you NEVER EVER want to silence your ability to advocate for yourself or your patients. Your life could depend on it!

The IP scheduled for the 25th of March was originally going to be a combined last shot across the bow between SNP and NUHW before we might be looking at the need to strike. But then with COVID-19 and social distancing entering the picture. We thought at first to cancel the IP. In fact, we did take steps to do just that. But at the beginning of last week we found it necessary to go forward with the IP after all.

Nurses recognized that it was not possible to maintain social distancing within the hospital and that there are many people who have tested positive for COVID-19 who had never shown many symptoms. Given that we practice face to face report, use common areas, work shoulder to shoulder while turning patients etc… the Union sent out the recommendation to wear a mask at all times while in common areas. Nurses jumped on it but were met Tuesday morning by med-surg management telling nurses to take off their masks! Some nurses did who were unsure, but then the unit stuck together and masked up, refusing to compromise everyone’s safety. We also had a nurse who had a rule out COVID-19, who was brought into a manager’s office and chastised for wearing hospital issued scrubs instead of her own! She didn’t want to possibly take COVID-19 out into the community when she left work that day.

These were not isolated incidents and with management refusing to provide us with PPE, we had to get out and alert the community. So, the IP was back on! We had to find a way to alert the community to the danger we were being put in, but we had to do that without putting ourselves and them in danger. We had some old PPE that we pulled out of storage, kept our numbers of nurses to below 10, grabbed our signs and alerted the press! Side note: our CEO was walking around the hospital that day saying we were “wasting PPE” by being out there, but two things, 1) if raising awareness to the staff not being given PPE saves one life, is that worth 12 or so gowns and masks? 2) if we had been out there without PPE, would our CEO have labeled us a “danger to society” or something along those lines? We wonder.

The Argus is all over this story and is following our continued struggle with this employer very closely. We have the community gathering PPE to help keep us safe. The mayor has also joined in the search and has directed us towards a donation of 1000 N95 masks!

Long story short, and we expect this to be an ongoing struggle as the hospital attempts to cut costs during the pandemic, the Hospital is providing PPE. And these changes ONLY came about because you all banded together and got out and raised awareness! This is the power of a unified voice. If you want a mask, it will be provided. It needs to be the appropriate one, but a mask will not be denied. Scrubs are now also being offered currently to people in direct care of a rule out or confirmed case and for all ED staff, but there is talk of how to get all of us taken care of in this regard. More on this in part two.

Redeployment/Cross-training: The Hospital has sent a couple emails recently surrounding their wanting to “redeploy” nurses to other units and to other facilities during the pandemic. SNPs position is that any redeployment of a nurse from one unit or facility to another, outside of what is in our current contract, will be done on a volunteer basis on the part of the nurse, that safety for the nurse and the patients shall be maintained (this includes proper training), and that the nurse has the right to rescind the offer at any time. Main things: volunteer, safety and right to rescind. Got it?

Emergency 80 Hours of PTO: Hot topic. In your work email, the hospital is offering all benefited employees an emergency fund of 80 hours of PTO. This is a good gesture on the part of the hospital, but they don’t have it quite right. Talks are ongoing, and our expectation is that the conditions surrounding the 80 ETO fund are that it will be available to all nurses. Period. Our own PTO shall not be utilized during the pandemic unless a nurse decides to take a previously approved request for time off. Nurses will need PTO for sick instances, vacations or decompression time after the pandemic is over, and requesting them to empty their own PTO during a worldwide pandemic where they are putting their lives on the line is not acceptable. More on this to come too.

COVID-19 related information and requested expectations: We met with the Hospital via conference call this last Friday and they responded to the list of concerns and requests SNP made weeks ago. That list was sent via your personal email. If you didn’t see it, check your spam box. We will be sending our response to their responses this coming Monday and will forward that response to you in part two of this email so that you can see our stance on certain things, what the hospital has committed to doing as a response to our concerns, and what further questions or requests we have made of the hospital.

ADOs: Fill these out and keep them coming. Don’t settle for less than you need to keep your patients, yourselves and your license safe. Hospital lawyers don’t take breaks during pandemics. Any time you don’t have enough staff, are caring for a patient who’s level of care is not appropriate for your unit, anytime you don’t have the PPE or resources to do your job safely, fill out an ADO.

Negotiations: Remember those? If your team thought life wasn’t busy enough in trying to juggle home, work and negotiations, COVID-19 came along to add to the mix! However, we are continuing to negotiate. It is all to be done virtually which has some advantages. We are working on proposals and giving Rachel, the mediator, topics to discuss with the hospital in between sessions to keep the ball moving. Our next scheduled day to negotiate is on April 7th. We will update you as to how things sit after that day. We are hoping that being able to work virtually and in between session will speed the process up now and bring some closure to this chapter in our lives.

Stay unified. Just as staying united has given you the PPE you needed, staying united will get you the contract you need as well. The community is fully behind us, trusts us to speak up for them and keep them safe. With all eyes on hospital workers and community safety, the timing couldn’t be better.

Until next time,

PSNP Leadership


Bargaining Unit Negotiations Update: March 5th 2020

Hey Everyone,

We had Negotiations this last Tuesday.  We were joined at the table by the Federal Mediator.  We decided last month that the time had come to get her involved.  We finally had gotten enough Articles tentatively agreed upon to make what was outstanding managable and with the Hospital refusing to budge on those remaining and really important Articles, the timing was right.  Her name is Rachel and she spent the first half of the day with the Hospital and the second half of the day with our team going through the outstanding Articles and listening to our positions on why we are fighting for each of them.

Our next session will be on the 18th and she asked that we give her a few Articles to focus on and she will see if she can open up the lines of communication around those Articles and hopefully produce some movement.  

She is also the Mediator for NUHW and she is very aware of our upcoming Informational Picket and is also aware that if PSNP and NUHW can't come to an agreement with the Hospital soon, there is a good chance there will be a hospital-wide strike.  So, she is motivated to help if she can.

You are always encouraged to come and listen in on Negotiations.  Rachel is approachable and enjoyed having some of our Nurses in attendance the other day.  We will let you know as soon as we know, what room we will be in on the 18th.

Til then, focus on getting out to the actions your coworkers have set up these next few weekends and help where you can in the planning for the IP on the 25th.  Please help get as many people there as you can between 11am and 2pm.  We are gonna make some noise!



SNP Leadership


Another Historic First For PVH Advocates!

PVH Nurses, you have done it again! You’ve shattered records and expectations! Yesterday’s vote had 90% bargaining unit participation with a 93.5 % Yes vote!

It was a day filled with emotions. We set up the voting booth on the corner across the street from the NUHW workers strike line and there was no break in the action. We were afforded a great view of the strike line and the unity and collective resolve shown by our coworkers is inspiring. PVH has a lot of scrappy fighters to say the least! Basically everyone of us, both those who were striking and those who were voting for strike authorization and supporting wish we didn’t need to be out there, but we do. We are determined to get what our patients need, what we need and what is best for the life and longevity of our community hospital. That said, the day was really fun in so many ways. Our coworkers are our family away from our families and this sentiment was very apparent no matter which side of the street you were on! From kids and dogs dressed out in support to everyone on the line doing “The Wave” with their picket signs, there was a lot to be thankful for.

Together we will prevail!

One common topic was just how much money and effort this potential operator is spending to try and break our resolve to get what we need. They would rather put their money into fighting us than investing in us, investing in our hospital and investing on our community. Is this the kind of employer we want going forward? One that we have to fight with for basic rights and so that we can just remain competitive?

Reports are filtering in about the unhealthy working conditions and unsafe staffing that are occurring while our qualified and quality staff are locked out and you should know that the proper agencies have been notified. Thank you to all of you who have been documenting and reporting on what has been taking place within PVH’s walls while the strike and lockout continue. Keep up the great work!

Again, awesome job on the vote everyone. You have given your bargaining team the backing and support they needed. Public pressure is the game plan, but striking is now a real option if it comes to that.

With much gratitude,

SNP Leadership



Mayor of Petaluma Teresa Barrett speaks out in support of Petaluma Valley Hospital nurses!



Bargaining Unit Negotiations Update: Strike Authorization Vote

Hi PVH Nurses,

Thursday's session started off with some fireworks.  We responded verbally to the hospital's economic package and our response was not well received. As the Bargaining Unit nurses who were present can attest, we were very clear with admin as to why we were giving such a response. We wanted to give them some honest feedback on their package and about how their promoting of it was received by you. In your words, the economic package that they presented a few weeks ago was more than an insult to those of us who have been working now for years in our fight to get a safe contract. We have been bending over backwards to keep this hospital a place we want to work and a place that is safe for our patients to come to. We have been working in an understaffed and underpaid environment for a very long time. We went through the 'Memorandum" that the hospital had put out following their economic package which was so full of misleading and empty statements that it deserved some shared feedback from our nurses. Nurses felt straight out lied to in the memorandum. We passed-on some of the comments and feelings you shared with us around the different points and praises that were written in that memorandum. Basically, the memorandum made it sound like they had offered a good, competitive package and that they did this because they appreciate and want to honor all the hard work and dedication we continue to provide to our patients and our hospital. It sounded good on paper, but when nurses found out what was actually being offered, they were livid!

Know that as a Union made up of fellow nurses, we will NEVER EVER ask you to accept less than you deserve. You will not hear us asking you to ratify a contract that does not offer the protections you need and one that contains the economic component we need to be competitive with local hospitals and attract strong nurses. Their economic offerings have a long way to go before it would be acceptable.

One last thing on economics... the hospital wants to honor all the hard work and extra shifts everyone has been picking up over the years by offering NO RETROACTIVE PAY! How's that feel? Do you feel appreciated?

We are to the point now where we need to hold a Strike Authorization Vote.  This vote would give your Union Bargaining Committee the ability to call a strike if it was deemed necessary. To be clear, it is NOT a notice of our intent to strike. It is a chance for you as a group to send a warning to the hospital to be careful with their next steps in negotiations. Striking is serious business and we want to exhaust all efforts at the table and in the community before we would go down that road, but there does come a time when enough is enough. The vote will happen very soon, and your participation is a must. Everyone needs to show up and cast a ballot and the results have to be a strong, resounding, and united YES if we are going to get the contract we deserve!

There will be more information coming very soon as to the why's, how's, and benefits of conducting a Strike Authorization Vote. Included will be the dates and times the vote will be conducted, and everyone will be contacted personally prior to the vote. We are in the endgame now everyone. Time to engage in this fight. The light at the end of this tunnel is starting to show.

United for our patients.  United for our coworkers.  United for each other.

Important upcoming dates.

1. Monday the 11th. Groverman Hall from 4 to 6pm.  Monthly PSNP Board meeting. Your attendance is encouraged. Strike Authorization Vote and Joint Action with NUHW in December are big talking points.

2. Next Negotiation day is next Wednesday the 13th. 10 am in the computer lab in upper Burns Hall

3. Strike Authorization Vote on November 20th Place and time TBD

4. Joint Action/Community Forum/Dinner and Music planned for December 12th. Details to follow later

Thanks Everyone,

Jim Goerlich
PSNP President


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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.