Fonda Osborn worked as a nurse for 38 years. Her passion for the importance of the Union in health care staffing started at Holy Cross Hospital in Taos, NM where the Union contract worked well. Osborn then moved to Las Vegas to work at Alta Vista Hospital where large patient loads, understaffing, and favoritism lead staff to unionize. Despite winning the vote for a Union, the failure to negotiate a contract was a difficult lesson. After the Las Vegas campaign, Osborn was invited to work on contract negotiations at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Santa Fe, NM in 1987 and worked through numerous Union contract negotiations in various leadership roles until her retirement in 2015. Reflecting on the transition of St. Vincent’s to administration by Christus St. Vincent’s, Osborn describes the success of Union contracts to improve staffing and gain benefits. A long life of Union activism and work on the social justice issues of affordable and accessible health care in New Mexico are hallmarks of Osborn’s Labor story.Interview by Diane Pinkey.
The Working People's History of New Mexico Project (WPHNM) is an oral labor history project created to gather the labor stories of working people in New Mexico. While part of the interviews focus on the specific jobs that the interviewees performed, the interviews also explore labor-management relations as well as union, workers council, and social activism participation. The interviews contain information about family and social relationships and offer themes of social and historical interest in New Mexico and the US.