Member Spotlight: Claudia Duran
Growing up in Petaluma, Phlebotomy Tech Claudia Duran learned two things in her family: fishing and speaking up when something isn’t right.
“My father introduced us (me and my siblings) to fishing and would take to little lakes,” she recalled.
Claudia still goes surf fishing at least once a week with her father and siblings to Bodega Bay, catching perch, crabs, and halibut.
“For us it’s a form of family unity. We share that in common,” says the 32-year-old, who played basketball in high school and did gymnastics and yoga.
Claudia is also practicing the other family trait — fighting for what’s right — by serving as a union steward, a role she took on three months ago.
“In our family we were raised to stand up for ourselves. I could come home and tell my parents when something happened in school and they would take the step and go to school and ask for a meeting,” she says.
Union work is very similar to that.
“Either you’re going to be proactive or not. If things are out of order and it’s not the work conditions that you want, somebody has to step up and speak up,” she said.
Claudia will be doing that when she and other NUHW stewards meet with management later this month to present a petition demanding that the hospital take action to address severe understaffing that is putting patients at risk.
“Since the switch to Providence, our recruiting team changed and it takes longer for people to get hired and start working,” Claudia. “A lot of our coworkers are burned out. They’ve been working nonstop. Some are already working at the hospital five days a week and still picking up more days.”
This day-to-day struggle is what prompted her to become a steward, she says.
“I want to find a way to make our situation better. Being a steward is a good way to help improve working conditions,” she adds.
Claudia says she’s still learning how to help coworkers when they come and ask for assistance on a number of issues.
“If I don’t know something, I tell them, ‘Let me read up on it and I’ll get back to you,’” she said.
She also makes sure to listen to them and seek assistance if she needs it.
“I want to educate our coworkers… and show them how to empower themselves. That’s the only way to get better,” she said. “We have to learn to talk for ourselves and have a voice.”