I work as a certified nurses assistant for the California Veterans Home in Fresno and am a leader in my union, SEIU Local 1000. Everyone I work with has stories about being too tired to drive home, about falling asleep in the parking lot after working 16 hours, or about pulling over to the side of the road because they can’t keep their eyes open.
Studies overwhelmingly show that fatigued nurses are much more likely to commit errors. State nurses work in places like prisons and state hospitals, so we need to be at the top our game. Mandatory overtime for California’s private sector has been banned since 2001. Why is it still allowed for state nurses?
There is a bill right now, AB 840, in the Legislature that would stop mandatory overtime for state nurses. A similar bill passed both houses two years ago, but Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed it. Californians should know that mandatory overtime is dangerous.
Monica Blancarte, Fresno