CNA vs SEIU - page 2

by firstyearstudent

3,337 Views | 19 Comments

I live and work in Southern California. I'm a member of CNA and I keep getting information from CNA and SEIU about some kind of conflict and I don't understand any of it. All the information I am getting is from those sources and... Read More


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    K 98 , I am not trying to be argumetative here , just trying to understand more of the workings of the SEIU.Are there active nurse representatives at your facility , do you and your coworkers inform them of thse daily violations , do the reps take action in regards to your valid grievances or are they simply not acted upon .
    If the nurse reps approach management de to a grievance ,then the nurses they represent need to be willing to support the unions rcommendation , for action to be taken .If the staff is unwilling to take action ( this does NOT mean a strike , there are other actions that can be taken ) ,then they are maintaining the present power balance at the facility .
    If however the SEIU is simply ignoring the staffs grievances , then it might be time to look for another union to represent you .
    Whether you are pro or anti union you should be getting the representation you are paying for , but the members have a resposibility to participate in their union , rather than be passive ,then complain nothing is being done .
    lindarn likes this.
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    Quote from nicurn001
    K 98 , I am not trying to be argumetative here , just trying to understand more of the workings of the SEIU.Are there active nurse representatives at your facility , do you and your coworkers inform them of thse daily violations , do the reps take action in regards to your valid grievances or are they simply not acted upon .
    If the nurse reps approach management de to a grievance ,then the nurses they represent need to be willing to support the unions rcommendation , for action to be taken .If the staff is unwilling to take action ( this does NOT mean a strike , there are other actions that can be taken ) ,then they are maintaining the present power balance at the facility .
    If however the SEIU is simply ignoring the staffs grievances , then it might be time to look for another union to represent you .
    Whether you are pro or anti union you should be getting the representation you are paying for , but the members have a resposibility to participate in their union , rather than be passive ,then complain nothing is being done .
    What you say here is very much on target, but there are a few additional comments to make. Too many unions have adopted the "business union" model, in which the members are not encouraged, maybe even discouraged, from being active participants in their union. If a business union works well - and some of them do work pretty well, even including some SEIU locals - then the member has a relationship with their union much like you might have with your phone company or your insurance company - you pay a fee and you get some service in return. You are thinking of a movement union, in which members are actively engaged and where problems are solved whenever possible through the direct action of the members. This is what the labor movement should be about and it's what builds real and powerful unions. Unfortunately, not as common as it should be. And of course when you have a business union that does not work well then you have a real failure, which it sounds like K98 is experiencing. This tends to give unions a bad name, because people generalize from their bad experience and don't realize that some unions are very different from that.
    Julia RN, lindarn, RN4MERCY, and 1 other like this.
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    Quote from nicurn001
    If however the SEIU is simply ignoring the staffs grievances , then it might be time to look for another union to represent you .
    Whether you are pro or anti union you should be getting the representation you are paying for , but the members have a resposibility to participate in their union , rather than be passive ,then complain nothing is being done .
    NICURN- you are right to look for more information. Unfortunately, the answer you seek is not simple. The "SEIU" problem is one that affects the entire US Labor movement. It has to do with the fundamental principle of union democracy.

    VERY SIMPLY: UHW was trying to use the power of democratic union process to voice concerns with the union leaders at the international level. This is not well tolerated within SEIU (at the international level) and these dissidents were taken over by the international. Local leaders given the boot and a non-elected appointed leader who is loyal to the international put in place. It is kind of like a government coup and is called trusteeship.

    For those who believe that rank and file members should have power in their union- trusteeship is a heinous crime.

    Becuase of the long standing history between CNA and SEIU in California and throughout the nation CNA has been very vocal about this situation. It has the potential to undermine many of the patient safety gains that CNA fought so hard to win...SEIU has lashed back with full fury and has pledged to "destroy CNA"...

    As I said this is a VERY simplified version of the story. ...
    Chico David RN, Julia RN, lindarn, and 2 others like this.
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    i think this is a really important discussion for everyone involved in the labor movement especially at this time. in the broad view, this is not just about two unions- it is about the importance of union democracy and what that means for workers.

    professor clyde summers, one of the authors of the landrum-griffin act or lmrda said, "workers gain no voice in the decisions of their working life if they have no voice in the decisions of the union which represents them." [color=#608686]union democracy, the basis of rank and file unionism, makes the union strong by ensuring the members are driving the direction of the union and are thereby encouraged to fully participate. it protects members' freedom of speech and gives them the ability to fight corruption in their union if that becomes neccessary.

    i have read the articles about this issue with interest and if seiu leadership is behind this deception they have sunk to a new low, imo. it is one thing to fight someone head-on, to say who you are and why you disagree. it is another thing to impersonate a member and imply that you are part of a dissident group within a competing organization. we would expect this kind of behavior from union busters, not from a labor union.

    union democracy and the rights of union members to speak freely are critical to the labor movement, and if these principles are being exploited in this manner, every rank and file unionist should be calling for andy stern's ( and anyone involved in this deception's) immediate resignation. this campaign crosses a sacred line, in my mind.

    the op's comments remind all of us about the needs of the membership- to understand, to have transparency and ongoing communication. the issues and structures are complicated and confusion can be exploited weaken to solidarity among us.

    i'd offer another resouce for objective info at: http://www.uniondemocracy.org/index.htm
    lindarn, RN4MERCY, nicurn001, and 1 other like this.
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    This is yet another interesting take on the story - one which matches my personal experiences in the case.

    http://www.sfbg.com/blogs/politics/2...hile_tryi.html
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    There are plenty of RNs in our facility that attempt to take an active role in the union. The SEIU works very hard to "cooperate" with the hospital, which leads to many unresolved issues. Our current contract included provisions for staffing levels. It is a three year contract which expires this October. The provisions for staffing levels have still not been implemented. RNs are taking petitions to the DON in an attempt to get the hospital to comply with a binding CONTRACT that they agreed to in 2006. Where is the SEIU? Off adding more sheep to the herd.
    lindarn likes this.
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    K98 Looks like the SEIU is giiving you grounds to seek decertification , then look elsewhere for a union that will help you to enforce the contract . It appears from what you have said that you and your coworkers are participating in the process , the SEIU at least in your location is not . Fortunately for me , the union I belong to takes staff ratio's seriously.Good luck to you
    lindarn, RN4MERCY, and Chico David RN like this.
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    I am not by any means anti-union, I think that an effective professional union can be an asset to the hospital RN. That said, the SEIU is neither effective or professional. It will be interesting to see how the next few moths go. Our contract is due to expire soon, and we were told that decertification must occur while there is no contract/contract is under negotiation.
    lindarn likes this.
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    As an ardent union supporter, I never thought I would be in the position of giving anyone this sort of advice, but I also believe that no group of workers should be forced to be in a union that is not meeting their needs. There are pretty precise rules on how to decertify a union. They can be found numerous places online. One example is here: http://www.ohanet.org/labor/attachme...%20Process.pdf

    Note that the signature process can (and should) begin long before the window for filing a petition opens. Ideally, those wishing to de-cert should have their signatures done and be ready to file on the first day the window opens.

    Having said all that, I would also put in a word for the idea of trying to make your union work better before de-certing, but it does rather sound like you've tried that already. And consider the possibility of joining a better union that does get nurse issues - the process of de-certing one and joining another can be done in one election.
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    Quote from K98
    I am not by any means anti-union, I think that an effective professional union can be an asset to the hospital RN. That said, the SEIU is neither effective or professional..
    From your contributions , I think it is obvious , you are not anti union , nor am I , So I do not take it lightly to advise you to look into decertification . I wonder if the information given you as to timing of applying for decertification is correct ( hopefully someone else on this forum will be able to supply you with the correct information on this ) , it just doesn't sound right . In the mean time research other unions . To me the security of a contract to ensure both sides of the employer / employee relationship , have a legal basis to their interactions and that you are no longer an At Will Employee , make the payment of Dues worthwhile .


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