Former Huntington Hospital Nurse, Union Organizer Receives Award for Her Activism

Published : Thursday, January 26, 2017 | 5:02 PM

Former Huntington Hospital nurse Allysha Shin has been selected as one three women who will receive the Kate Mullany Courageous Young Worker Award in ceremonies next month in Washington, D.C.

The award is given by the Berger-Marks Foundation in Washington and includes a $1,000 grant.

Shin, whose former last name was Almada before she married in October 2015, used to work at the intensive care unit at Huntington but was, she claims, terminated for her leadership role in the union drive with the California Nurses Association (CNA).

After she was terminated, Shin was invited to the White House on October 15, 2015, to participate in the Worker’s Voice Summit, where she met with members of Congress, the Secretary of Labor, and President Obama.

In December that year, Shin decided to start working at the neuroscience intensive care unit at Keck Medical Center of USC in Los Angeles, a CNA-represented facility.

In June, 2016, Shin and other nurses reached a settlement with Huntington Hospital. Her termination was rescinded, and she and another nurse who was fired at the same time she was were given full back pay. Shin declined to return to Huntington Hospital and chose to stay at her current position at Keck Hospital.

“I actually opted to not go back to work at Huntington,” Shin told the Asian Journal in July 2016. “The main reason is because they are not organized right now, I don’t feel safe working there.”

Shin is continuing to help organize the nurses at Huntington Hospital in order to help them gain a voice in their workplace and improve patient safety and care.

The Kate Mullany Courageous Young Worker Award was launched in 2014 to honor young women, age 35 or younger, who have stood up for workers’ rights and organized their own workplaces in the face of overwhelming opposition.

The award is named for an inspiring young laundry worker who, more 150 years ago, organized one of the first women’s unions when she was just 19 years old.

Aside from Shin, the other winners of the award for 2017 are Jessica Ellul, a unit coordinator on the oncology ward at Danbury Hospital in Danbury, Connecticut; and Angela Melvin, a call center worker at the Wichita, Kansas T-Mobile call center.

Together with the winners of the Edna Award for Social Justice, they will be given their awards at a reception on February 9 in Washington, D.C.


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