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Being a certified Nursing assistant at the Shasta View Nursing Center is a difficult task. This is largely because the CAN's job is not appreciated in several facets of the organization. The new management and the incompetent Director of Service Department have continued to mistreat employees, a move that has culminated in the formation of a worker's union. There were therefore several reasons why the Shasta View Nursing Center was unionized. There were constant threats to sack employees who never agreed with the director or plainly, who were not liked by the director and unwarranted favoritism for those she liked

At first, it appeared there was something wrong with the position of the director. This is because only in 2010, the person in that position resigned and the position stayed for a long time without a replacement. The new DSD keep threatening CNAS' that if they fail to live up to her expectations, they would face the sack. She plays everything, does not consult and at times violate pre-determined procedures of operation. To cap it up, she does not even hesitate to show open favoritism.

In one instance when a Social Services Director (SDD) asked a CAN who happened to be favored by the DSD to ensure that an in-patient was taken back to his bad and made comfortable while care is offered, the CAN snapped that 'I am busy, we are not short of staff and so do not tell me what to do". This was unacceptable considering that the SSD is far much senior than the CAN. When informed, The DSD did not take any action. In another gross incident, the DSD fired CNA based on rumors that she was found sleeping at work during a night duty. She was not even given an opportunity to defend herself.

There is rampant sacking and unequal treatment of employees depending on if the director likes you or not and lack of respect for clients. Due to worker's resistance to the DSD's moves, she has resorted to employing new personnel and replacing the old ones. In fact, the new employees who are her cronies are even paid better salaries than us who have been working for a longer period at the center. She treats all of us except her cronies with contempt and disrespect all the time. She does not accord us any dignity.

The problem has even gone a notch higher because in the recent past, she threatened a resident patient who was an old man suffering from dementia that if he did not stop making crazy statements, she was going to call cops on him. She lived to her threats and called cops on the old man, whom because of luck of a prosecutable offence, was just taken to a hospital for mental check up. The DSD made up a fake report and exaggerated to justify her actions.

Why unionization was the best thing that ever happened to us

The problem however is that all of us are fast becoming disillusioned with our state due to fears of losing our jobs. The administrator also supports the DSD's actions. The wages and salaries workers get here defy the labor code and hardly are workers even paid for extra time unless they exceed 40 hours per week. For double shift, one gets 1.5 dollars extra only.

Even though several interventions had been taken, sit was not until we unionized that the mistreatments stopped because we could now speak as a team under one flag. Dignity and care has finally been returned to the workforce as well as to the resident patients.  The management really hates unions because it stops victimization of workers.

Conclusion

The provisions of the labor code can only be achieved when workers unionize. The misfortunate activities were mainly because the workers did not know the benefits of being in unions. Unions therefore protect and preserve the rights of employees and just like us others should embrace it.

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