SEIU Nurses From Across Nation Visit Florida For Rally and Conference Calling For Caregivers To Be Respected, Protected, Paid & Staffed Safely

October 20, 2023

SEIU Nurse Alliance, great crowd photo, signs 10-11-23.jpegMore than 350 nurses from SEIU locals from numerous states recently gathered in Miami for a dynamic professional development conference and a dramatic rally that highlighted the staffing, retention and care crisis in healthcare facilities in Florida and across the country.

The 2023 SEIU Nurse Alliance Conference, titled “Crossroads: Seizing Our Power As SEIU Nurses,” featured a wide range of speakers, enriching content and continuing education credits (CEUs) to help nurses advance their careers and improve their workplaces for themselves, their co-workers and their patients.

Conference highlights included:

-- A reading and book signing by Sarah DiGregorio, author of “Taking Care: The Enduring Nurse Power of Collective and Relationship.”

-- “The Future is Nursing” lecture by RN Sarah Warren, nurse advocate and founder of Don’t Clock Out.

-- A panel discussion on “Our demands for staffing at the unit, state and federal levels” moderated by RN Nadine Williamson, VP of the 1199SEIU RN Division.

-- A presentation: “Unions for All: Working people claiming and exercising power together,” by Mary Kay Henry, International President, SEIU.

-- A showing of the “Nurse Unseen” documentary movie and Q&A with the director and producer.

-- And various interesting workshops and networking events.

In conjunction with the conference, the 350+ nurses and supporters marched across the iconic Brickell Bridge in Downtown Miami and dropped a giant banner demanding “Fix The Crisis In Care Now! Safe Staffing Saves Lives” followed by a rally at the historic Miami Circle. 

Merlyn Hoilette, RN, HCA, Nurse Alliance Conference MIami 10-23.jpegAt both the conference and rally, 1199SEIU Florida member leader Marlyn Hoilette, RN at HCA Florida Palms West Hospital, took a top role. To open the conference, she welcomed nurses to Florida and introduced guest speaker Daniella Levine Cava, mayor of Miami-Dade County. She also introduced the audience to South Florida community leader Dwight Bullard, a former Florida senator and representative, and currently senior political advisor for Florida Rising, who covered “Healthcare Justice For All.”

At the rally, Marlyn eloquently described her own experiences and the dangers so many caregivers and their patients face due to short-staffing.

“It’s important for the public to hear what challenges we deal with each day while working to provide the very best care possible,” said Marlyn who was interviewed by multiple media outlets at the events. “This conference was a great experience and I was honored to have the opportunity to represent our Florida union. It helps us all to come together, stand up and speak up to improve our workplaces, jobs and lives.”

“Marlyn is a deeply committed and gifted nurse, and a true leader for her co-workers and our union family,” said Stephanie Shaw, VP of 1199SEIU Florida.  “Her patients, fellow caregivers, community and our entire organization are very thankful and fortunate to have her so active and outspoken. We’re very proud that she and several other of our Florida nurse members attended and contributed to this valuable conference.  We look forward to participating with an even bigger and engaged contingent in the future.”