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Petaluma Staff Nurse Partnership

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.