Ca. Nurse Assn. has a new affilate...
0Jan 3, '13 by laborerNational Union of HealthcareWorkers, 10,000 strong http://nurses.bluestatedigital.com/state/california
1Jan 4, '13 by herring_RN GuideFriday, January 04, 2013
CNA, NUHW Merge, Seek Better Workplace Standards, Benefits
On Thursday, the California Nurses Association announced that it has formally joined with the National Union of Healthcare Workers to form the NUHW-CNA, the Wall Street Journal reports (Maher, Wall Street Journal, 1/3). ...
... CNA and NUHW said the affiliation will help them seek better workplace standards to improve patient care and prevent hospital chains from reducing employee benefits (Wall Street Journal, 1/3).
In a statement, Deborah Burger -- CNA co-president -- said the unions "intend to send an unmistakable message to a callous hospital industry that nurses will not stand silent in the face of a ruthless drive by hospital employers or their collaborators to uproot decades of progress" (San Francisco Business Times, 1/3).
Sal Rosselli -- president of NUHW -- said that the affiliation "increases our power and experience exponentially" (AP/Sacramento Bee, 1/4).
Implications for SEIU
According to the Journal, the affiliation intensifies a rivalry between the unions and the 2 million-member Service Employees International Union.
NUHW-CNA is expected to campaign against SEIU for the membership of 43,000 workers at Kaiser Permanente (Wall Street Journal, 1/3).
Rosselli said, "We will now have the resources to compete with the SEIU's millions and millions of dollars." ...
Read more: http://www.californiahealthline.org/...#ixzz2H24rHGIP
5Jan 5, '13 by OCNRN63Personally, I'm a little disappointed that CNA will no longer be a union for nurses. An environmental service technician is not going to understand the critical issues bedside nurses face. Are dietary staff going to want to strike because nursing has decided to strike regarding a patient safety matter? I'm not saying this to be elitist; I just think adding non-nursing staff runs the potential of diluting the message.
Maybe I misread the homepage of the NUHW, but it sounds like it includes a lot of staff who are not nurses.
4Jan 5, '13 by herring_RN GuideSince 2001 CNA has had an affiliate union CHEU for caregivers and healthcare employees at hospitals where the RNs are represented by CNA. -- CHEU: Caregiver and Healthcare Employees Union | National Nurses United \
At a hospital where I have many friends it is informally called the "Caregivers Union". Leaders of both unions work together for improvements in patient care.
Sometimes at hospitals where the non RNs are represented by SEIU RNs have worked to keep their LVNs, nursing assistants, and clerks.
Often, but not always the RNs have been successful in preventing layoffs of needed caregivers. Their union just accepted the layoffs without a fight. At one the hospital only left one nursing assistant on each unit, no matter how many patients there were. If a sitter was needed there was no one to help bathe, reposition, or get patients out of bed. Evantually even management realized patient satisfaction and care suffered with too few nursing personnel. They had to hire nursing assistants.
This agreement may help keep patient care standards up.
... an affiliation agreement posted online says the Jan. 1 agreement doesn't give NUHW any rights to CNA's funds or the right to participate in the nurses' union's elections or conferences, or vice versa. Both unions retain "their own autonomy with respect to their elections, conventions and wage negotiations." ...
... As of the effective date, the online affiliation agreement stated, "NUHW will become an autonomous affiliate" of the CNA/National Nurses Organizing Committee.
How autonomous? The agreement says NUHW retains control of its funds, assets and properties, as well as the right to direct, hire and fire NUHW staff," produce its own publications, web sites and other forms of communications, and generally act much as it has since its leaders were expelled from SEIU's United Healthcare Workers West local in early 2009. ...
CNA and NUHW to 'formally affiliate' but not merge or share assets - San Francisco Business Times
2Jan 6, '13 by herring_RN GuideHealthcare Unions in California Join Forces
by Mina Kim | January 4, 2013
Officials with the California Nurses Association and National Union of Healthcare Workers announced their affiliation Thursday, to seek better workplace conditions for healthcare employees.
CNA co-president Deborah Burger said nurses' abilities to negotiate contracts has been undercut by the Service Employees International Union,and its chummy relationship with employers like Kaiser Permanente.
"SEIU California is sort of the concession factory," Burger said. "And we know that once you give up a benefit it doesn't come back."
SEIU-United Healthcare Workers spokesman Steve Trossman denied the charge. ...
2Jan 6, '13 by herring_RN GuideUnions join forces to fight nursing cutbacks
Two feisty labor unions are joining forces to fight efforts to roll back California's strict nurse-to-patient ratio law and erode contract protections they've won at Kaiser Permanente and Sutter Health.
The National Union of Healthcare Workers, formed four years ago when Service Employees International Union took control of California local United Healthcare Workers West, has affiliated with the California Nurses Association.
The affiliation unites 10,000 health-care workers at NUHW with 85,000 registered nurses at CNA, both currently at loggerheads with Kaiser, Sutter, SEIU and the California Hospital Association. It's a strategic alliance, not a merger.
The two unions will retain separate constitutions and structures under the agreement; NUHW will be an autonomous affiliate of CNA. ...
The focus of the affiliation is a united front.
"It's all about making sure we collectively-nurses and other health-care workers-have the ability to provide the care we need to protect patients," said Cathy Kennedy, an intensive-care nurse at Kaiser's Roseville hospital.
Most recently, the two unions jointly picketed 21 Kaiser hospitals on Dec. 18-including all three in the Sacramento region-to protest what they say is inadequate nurse staffing and delays in patient care. ...
... Both unions are itching to go head-to-head with SEIU president Dave Regan, who has joined forces with the California Hospital Association ...
Regan made an unprecedented move last year to get support for legislation to temporarily relax nurse-to-patient ratios at California hospitals during meal times and rest breaks. It didn't go anywhere. He asked the California Labor Federation to go neutral on a bill if one was proposed-and was turned down.
Adamantly opposed by California hospitals as reducing their ability to staff to meet actual patient need instead of achieving boilerplate numbers, the ratio law was the product of 10 years of intense lobbying by the nurses' union-and they were furious at efforts to skirt it.
SEIU spokesman Steve Trossman called the affiliation "a lot of hoopla over not much substance." ...
4Jan 13, '13 by tewdlesI think we all have to be prepared to be VERY politically active when Health Care Administrators begin to REACT to ACA changes by cutting back on the care delivery team members.
We can do this, unionized or not. There are issues that transcend politics.
1Feb 16, '13 by herring_RN GuideHigh Stakes in the Kaiser Union Vote
What Kind of Unions Will We Have?
by CAL WINSLOW
In April, 43,000 Kaiser Permanente workers in California will vote, again, to decide which union will represent them, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) or the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW), the latter now allied with the California Nurses Association (CNA-NNU). ...
... The players are big, Kaiser Permanente, the biggest Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) in the country, 9 million members, 167,000 employees nationwide, 40 hospitals, 1.6 billion in net income ("profits") in 2011 - and the bulk of all this here in California, where it's Oakland based CEO, George Halverson "earns" $9 million in salary annually and benefits beyond belief.
SEIU remains the nation's second largest union, with nearly 2 million members, 600,000 of whom work in California. Its healthcare affiliate, United Healthcare Workers-West (UHW) represents for now 45,000 Kaiser service and tech workers; its leaders and staff inherited their positions, beneficiaries of the 2009 trusteeship imposed by the SEIU international. Dave Regan, its Cornell University grad president, receives $300,000 a year (plus benefits), this in an industry where tens of thousands (in California hospitals) work for less than $20,000 annually.
Against them, the NUHW, founded by members expelled in 2009 from UHW, now 10,000 members strong, and the CNA, with 85,000, 17,000 of them working for Kaiser in northern California. ...
And if that isn't enough, Kaiser and SEIU have combined against latter, working together here; they are a team, a labor-management partnership in the deepest sense of this concept. ...
... NUHW contends that SEIU has given away concessions at every turn, not just at Kaiser but in hospitals throughout the state, and notably in negotiations with the giant chains, including Sutter Health, Dignity, and Daughters of Charity. CNA concurs.
At Kaiser, these concessions already include: cutbacks in medical benefits, including an invasive "Wellness Program," also in retirement benefits plus retiree medical benefits, also dental coverage. Protections from subcontracting have been given away as well as seniority rights and job security - Kaiser has eliminated 1000 jobs under SEIU's current contract.
And still Kaiser wants more - this is clear for all to see in the demands that Kaiser has placed on the table with NUHW's 4000 Kaiser members, demands they have steadfastly and bravely rejected. It is interesting here to note that at the same time, now, Sutter Health has more than 100 concessionary demands on the bargaining table with its nurses. ...
... Deborah Burger, a CNA co-president and Kaiser RN at Santa Rosa, argues "look what SEIU has already agreed to, there have just been too many takeaways, what's at stake for us is the precedent for everyone who works in the industry. It's staggering. It makes our fight all that much harder. It already is at Sutter and everywhere else.
"Our contract with Kaiser comes up in 2014. We knew it was going to be a fight, just look at the proposals Kaiser has put on the table for NUHW. If SEIU had held the line and fought, we'd be out there with them. But, no, so NUHW's fight is our fight. It's better for us to fight now, to help NUHW, to stop management now, to put a stop to these precedents.
"So we're out there every day, the nurses are walking the floors, every unit, every shift; we're talking about the importance of this election. Kaiser has had it easy with SEIU; they've been let off the hook. It won't be so easy this time." ...
... In the spirit of the nationwide attack on public workers and pampered, overpaid teachers in particular, in June this past summer, SEIU's Dave Regan appeared in Sacramento with the Duane Dauner, President/CEO of the California Hospital Association, to support an attempt to roll back California's hospital staffing ratios, including nurse to patient rations, these ratios the products of decades of struggle. ...