National Alliance for Filipino Concerns Rallies in Sacramento in Support of Domestic Workers Bill of Rights

From Balitang America:

Filipino Caregivers Demand Passage of Workers Bill of Rights

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – About 200 caregivers and their supporters traveled to the State Capitol in Sacramento yesterday to attend the first hearing on the California Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.

The bill would grant caregivers and domestic workers rights to minimum wage, overtime pay, sick and vacation leaves, proper rest breaks and health care coverage.

69-year- old Tony Reta, who once cared for nine elderly patients on a daily basis said caregivers are burdened with round-the-clock hard work. He said, “Not only do you have to care for the patients, you have to care for the home where you work is clean. It’s not a joke. It’s hard work.”

Another caregiver, 60-year- old Boots de Chavez traveled all the way from Los Angeles — to let California lawmakers know how much they’ve suffered. She said, “We feel there are no rewards to our hard work. We don’t have any protection at work.”

Reta and de Chavez’ prayers for support from the government were answered that day. The California Assembly Committee passed the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. But the bill has to go through the Assembly floor, the Senate committee and the Senate floor — before it goes to Governor Jerry Brown’s office for signing.

If it passes among California lawmakers, Brown could sign the bill by September.

New York is the only state in the nation that has passed a similar bill of rights for caregivers and domestic workers.

You can reach Henni Espinosa at henni_espinosa@abs-cbn.com

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CPMC CEO Denies Filipino Nurse Hiring Ban By Claiming He Loves Lumpia, Just Not Balut: NAFCON Demands that Sutter Seriously Address the Filipino Community’s Charge of Illegal Discrimination based on Race and National Origin

Dr. Warren Browner loooooves Filipino food. It’s too bad that he won’t offer the same “respect” to Filipino people.

From The National Alliance of Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) http://nafconusa.org/

CPMC CEO Denies Filipino Nurse Hiring Ban By Claiming He Loves Lumpia, Just Not Balut: NAFCON Demands that Sutter Seriously Address the Filipino Community’s Charge of Illegal Discrimination based on Race and National Origin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
07 September 2010

REFERENCE:
Terrence Valen, Northern California Regional Spokesperson, National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON)
Email: justice4filnurses@gmail.com

San Francisco–Days after the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON), California Nurses Association (CNA), and other community members charged Sutter Health’s California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) with discrimination against Filipino nurses, Warren Browner, the hospital’s CEO, unleashed a campaign to divert public attention away from the facts. In separate correspondence sent to community leaders, hospital employees, and city officials, Browner repeatedly claims the allegations are untrue and made without any factual basis; however, Browner does not once refute testimony from three former CPMC managers who state that Diana Karner, Sutter West Bay’s Vice President of Nursing, ordered them not to hire Filipino and foreign graduate nurses. In fact, press releases, letters to community, and Browner’s blog all omit Karner’s name, which community members suspect is a tactic being used by CPMC to avoid accountability.

CPMC further attempts to downplay statistics which support charges of discrimination by claiming the data used does not exist. Terrence Valen, Executive Director of the Filipino Community Center in San Francisco and NAFCON NorCal Regional Spokesperson responds by saying, “CPMC claims that they do not keep records of the national origin of new hires. However, if they were to take the allegations seriously, a simple study of new hires from January 2008 onward could confirm the sharp decline in the hiring of Filipino nurses since that time.”

Adding insult to injury, Browner pleads that he is incapable of discrimination against Filipinos by writing on his blog about his voyeuristic experiences with the Filipino community and the Philippines. Browner blogs about lumpia, exoticized balut, the rice terraces, white-sand beaches, and hand carved chess sets; all of which are irrelevant to the real issue. Valen comments, “We are talking about thousands of highly qualified Filipinos and their families struggling every day to find good jobs, and CPMC’s CEO is talking about being fed lumpia at midnight! The real issue concerns unequivocal testimony by hospital staff indicating a blatant and institutional practice of racism by a VP of San Francisco’s largest hospital management corporation.”

CPMC’s letters and public statements also try to paint the discrimination charge as a meritless tactic by CNA to degrade the reputation of the hospital. Similar to Browner’s failure to respond to the facts, CPMC also fails to recognize the long list of Filipino community organizations and individuals involved in this campaign to hold the hospital and its management accountable. Lyra Ibarra, a student at San Francisco State University studying to be a nurse and a coordinator of the Filipino organization Active Leadership to Advance the Youth, says, “Even though there are a lot of Filipino and community organizations that see the charge of discrimination as very serious, Dr. Browner and CPMC do not seem to recognize how important this issue is to us.” Ibarra continues, “It is already hard enough to be an immigrant working in the U.S.; it only makes it harder to have to face discrimination.” The list of signatories demanding accountability includes over 35 individuals and organizations across the SF Bay Area.

In the official August 19, 2010 letter to Sutter-CPMC, NAFCON, CNA, and other community members gave the company until September 19th to answer to the following demands:

  1. We urge the SF Human Rights Commission (HRC) to conduct an immediate and thorough investigation of the apparent pattern and practice of discrimination by Sutter CPMC against Filipino Registered Nurses.
  2. We request Sutter CPMC’s full and prompt cooperation with the HRC investigation.
  3. We demand a meeting with CPMC CEO Warren Browner and Vice President Diana Karner within one month to discuss discrimination against Filipino RNs, specifically the alleged discriminatory hiring directives by Vice President Karner.
  4. We further demand that CPMC publicly renounce this discriminatory practice and issue a public apology to Filipino nurses and the Filipino community.
  5. Lastly, we demand that CPMC provide equal opportunities and treatment for all job applicants regardless of race, national origin or any other protected status.

“Now is the time for everyone who believes in justice and equality to take a stand. NAFCON urges the public to join the campaign to defend Filipinos against discrimination and hold health management corporations accountable to community health and fair employment practices,” states Valen. Specific action steps delineated by NAFCON include signing the online petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/filnurse/ to end discrimination and support fair hiring practices. A complete list of action steps as well as background material on the case can be found on NAFCON’s website www.nafconusa.org.

To view CEO Warren Browner’s blog responding to the charge of discrimination, Click Here.

Related information:
Los Angeles Times article
Sacramento Bee article
Valerie Francisco’s blog

The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns [NAFCON] is a national multi-issue alliance of Filipino organizations and individuals in the United States serving to protect the rights and welfare of Filipinos by fighting for social, economic, and racial justice and equality. It was launched in San Jose California in 2003. At present, NAFCON members encompass over 23 cities in the United States.

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