Penney will develop and manage the union's organizing program, as well as build local leadership at UNAC/UHCP’s affiliates. His priority will be organizing RNs and other health care professionals seeking a voice in the workplace in order to improve the quality of patient care.
"There are still too many employers who do not understand that health care unions improve how health care is provided,” stated Kathy J. Sackman, RN, president of UNAC/UHCP. “When RNs and other health care professionals have a safe environment to contribute their knowledge and expertise to the delivery of quality patient care, both the patients and health care providers benefit.”
Penney brings to UNAC/UHCP over two decades of labor organizing knowledge and experience, beginning his labor career in 1990 as an organizer for the healthcare division of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). After earning his Doctorate of Sociology at the University of Michigan, where Penney helped negotiate two contracts for graduate student employees, he had a three-year stint as a professor at George Washington University before returning to union organizing for SEIU-UHW and SEIU 721 in southern California.
“Having a voice in the workplace is key for RNs and other health care professionals committed to improving the quality of patient care,” commented Penney. “I look forward to helping many more throughout Southern California gain that voice through UNAC/UHCP.”
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The United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals is the largest nurses union in Southern California and represents registered nurses and other health care professionals. UNAC/UHCP, as the association is known, is affiliated with the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO. For more information on UNAC/UHCP, visit www.unacuhcp.org.