CNA vs SEIU

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    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 it is all written in propagandese. I don't understand or trust any of it. What is the real story behind these battling unions. Where can I find information from a source that doesn't have it's own organizational agenda?
    Julia RN and lindarn like this.
  2. 19 Comments so far...

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    Quote from firstyearstudent
    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 it is all written in propagandese. i don't understand or trust any of it. what is the real story behind these battling unions. where can i find information from a source that doesn't have it's own organizational agenda?
    try a search engine such as google or yahoo.

    http://sanfrancisco.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2009/02/02/daily23.html

    http://www.cdobs.com/archive/from-blogs/seiu-rewrites-history-ignores-support-for-blagojevich,2688

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/02/02/bu1l15lo03.dtl

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-union2-2009feb02,0,6911054.story

    [color=#a6192c]http://sanfrancisco.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2009/01/26/daily58.html

    http://www.sfbg.com/blogs/politics/2009/02/seiu_preaches_unity_while_tryi.html

    http://www.counterpunch.org/early02022009.html

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaqy4igj0d0

    http://jimmyhiggins.wordpress.com/2009/01/25/the-truth-about-seius-21st-century-company-unionism-a-view-from-the-inside/
    Julia RN and RN4MERCY like this.
  4. 0
    Quote from firstyearstudent
    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 it is all written in propagandese. I don't understand or trust any of it. What is the real story behind these battling unions. Where can I find information from a source that doesn't have it's own organizational agenda?
    I'm just curious. You've used the initials, CNA and said you're a member. I know that SEIU International is the "parent" organization of something they call the California nurse alliance, also known by the initials, "CNA."

    SEIU is largely a union for service workers, janitors, and housekeepers. They do have some RN members, (I have a couple of friends among them), who prefer to be identified as the California nurse alliance. With all the corruption going on within the ranks of SEIU, who can blame them? Many of SEIU's RN members have sought to disaffilitate altogether and join the ranks of the California Nurses Association because they understand that labor-management "partnerships" are a threat to their professional autonomy and their ability to advocate in the exclusive interests of their patients.

    I was going to make an assumption that you were referring to the California Nurses Association, because of its state, national, and international reputation as the most trusted union and professional association for RNs when you used the initials, CNA. However when you spoke of "propagandese" and said you "don't understand or trust any of it" then I thought you must've been referring to the well known battles between the California nurse alliance members, especially their RNs, and their domineering parent organization SEIU International.

    SEIU/Nurse alliance as a "partnership" organization, aligned itself with the hospital industry. Indeed, SEIU's partnerships with the corporations employing their nurses and other serviceworkers ensures that corporations don't suffer from any "negative impact" during their tenure. With SEIU, corporations can go on with business as usual without worrying about their ability to profit from and control their workers' so-called "contracts."

    The highly respected California Nurses Association is the union that fought for the first in the nation, RN to patient ratio law. The California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/NNOC) exists as the collective preeminent voice for the working bedside RN, with a vision for health care. CNA/NNOC has won the best contracts in the nation through the collective action of their members.

    Would you please elaborate on which CNA you were referring to?
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    I am referring to California Nurses Association. Before becoming a nurse I had a great deal of respect for them, especially the work they did getting the ratio legislation passed and then pressuring the Governor. When I started working I eagerly joined CNA, despite working at an "open shop." However, I have been receiving fliers and letters from CNA recently that, at least to my ear, ARE written in propagandese and that lead me to question their integrity. For instance, one letter suggests if SEIU reps visit my house I should not talk to them, but call the police?! As far as I know, there aren't any laws against anyone knocking on my door to give me information. I certainly don't call the police when Witnesses visit my house and I would find them more annoying than organizers from a rival union. Does CNA believe that I am so stupid that I wouldn't question information I receive from SEIU? Or do they just not want me only to hear what they have to say...

    I just feel confused about all if it. Somehow I don't feel like I'm not getting the whole story, even from my own union that has chosen to send me information that treats me like a moron and tells me not to get information from anyone else. The message from them is "Other union bad, us good." "They work with management, we don't." "We are nurses, they're not." Certainly the situation is more nuanced than that.
    Last edit by firstyearstudent on Feb 9, '09
    Julia RN and lindarn like this.
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    Quote from firstyearstudent
    I am referring to California Nurses Association. Before becoming a nurse I had a great deal of respect for them, especially the work they did getting the ratio legislation passed and then pressuring the Governor. However, I have been receiving fliers and letters from CNA recently that, at least to my ear, written in propagandese and that lead me to question their motives and integrity. For instance, one letter suggests if SEIU reps visit my house I should not talk to them, but call the police?! As far as I know, there aren't any laws against anyone knocking on my door to give me information. I certainly don't call the police when Witnesses visit my house and I would find them more annoying than organizers from a rival union.
    Perhaps you are unaware of the outright violent activity and threats that members of the California Nurses Association/NNOC have been subject to at the hands of certain SEIU thugs in the very recent past. You can read about that here. Members of the California Nurses' Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee have had threatening, unannounced visits to their homes, and you can read about that here and here.

    So, in light of those facts, I don't see any reason to question the motives or integrity of the California Nurses Association/NNOC. The membership reflects our profession which is overwhelmingly female and the advice to call law enforcement is reasonable if there is a perceived or actual threat. That's not 'propagandese' as you call it.

    Perhaps, you have never felt threatened or intimidated by stalkers. There is plenty of evidence out there to suggest that SEIU is engaging in an illegal attempt to interfere with the democratically elected leadership of CNA/NNOC. The information sent to you is peer reviewed by the CNA/NNOC Board of Directors and published by and for benefit of all members. It sounds like you should meet with your labor rep and your nurse rep council in the hospital where you work. Read the Registered Nurse magazine, or visit the www.calnurses.org website for more information, on the chance that you've received "counterfeit" mailings by SEIU intended to get you to buy in to their scheme of illegally interfering with CNA/NNOC operations.

    Personally, and speaking on behalf of many of my colleagues who are CNA/NNOC members, I've never heard of anyone in the CNA/NNOC organization who's treated anyone with less than the utmost respect and dignity. Sure, use your judgement with regards to calling the police. But don't shoot blanks at an honest messenger and cast aspersions on the integrity of CNA/NNOC, by implying that genuine communication and education materials "treat you like a moron". You have a responsibility to do your own homework. Have you looked at the other links posted by herring_RN?

    From my point of view, CNA/NNOC is clearly a world leader in protecting and defending the independent professional rights and duties of RNs to advocate in the exclusive interests of patients. As patient advocates, we have the duty to change circumstances that are against the interests of patients. SEIU's autocratic partnership model encumbers an RNs ability to be an effective advocate; especially when that advocacy is in conflict with the financial interests of an employer.

    You have every reason to continue to be proud of your membership in CNA/NNOC. Here's the solidarity pledge, in case you've missed it:

    WE STAND TOGETHER

    We pledge to act in solidarity with our colleagues, NNOC members and other direct care nurses, who choose to act in conscience as collective patient advocates.

    WE BELIEVE


    All patients derserve a high quality single standard of care.
    Registered Nurses are the essential care providers to ensure that all patients receive this standard of care.
    Nurses have an obligation to use their collective power to advocate for their patients' interests-- and their own.
    WE STAND FOR OUR RIGHT TO ACT COLLECTIVELY, taking direct action on behalf of our patients.

    AS PATIENT ADVOCATES, for those under our care and their families.

    AS A GROUP TO IMPROVE our conditions, wages, benefits and respect for our profession at our facility and in our nation.

    SOCIALLY, to further the goal of universal health care and a healthy life for all.

    WE PLEDGE OUR SOLIDARITY TO SUPPORT RNs IN COLLECTIVE PATIENT ADVOCACY

    To speak and act on behalf of our patients.
    To unite against actions by a health care facility, government agency or private interest group that infringe upon our obligations as RNs.
    To unite against actions that interfere with RNs' right to form their own organization, take action in their own name and improve conditions for all nurses.
    RN Power Ohio and lindarn like this.
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    I think that the OP started this thread wanting to gain clarification of the strife between SEIU and CNA/NNOC . I also think that all sides in a labor /organizing dispute have to , in order to try to keep their massage succint , write in propagandese .
    For my two cents worth I think the arguments for these Unions boils down to do you wish to be represented by a union made up by RN's , who have a proven track record of acting in the best interests of RN's , or do you wish to be a small cog in a Giant Union which , appears to be run by an autocratic central body , that appears to care more about partnerships with management , growing the number of members and not listening to their members .If you want to see how the SEIU treats members who try to maintain local control, look no further than it's take over / placing into recievership of their UHW local in California .
    mdfog10, RN4MERCY, and lindarn like this.
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    The SEIU (Serving Employers Instead of Us) is a joke. I'm a member, and plan on leaving the facility that I work in just to get away from the SEIU. They rob my pay for 60.00 per month and do nothing for me. They spend my hard earned dues on organizing campaigns to increase the number of sheep that they control. The SEIU is not a union, it's a protection racket. Our hospital is a "closed shop". If I want to keep my position there, I must "donate" to the SEIU. Most of the nurses at our hospital resent the SEIU, but have no idea how to begin getting rid of them. They are a cancer.
    jsrRN, RN Power Ohio, and lindarn like this.
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    K98 , I am sorry for your experience with the SEIU . Genearally speaking what union members get from their union is a reflection of their participation in the functioning of their Union . A union should not be just a disembodied entity to whom you just send your union dues . There should be local representatives who you can contact , to air your grievences,then guide you as to action that can be taken , There should be commitee / meetings you can attend to give your input .If members don't participate how can the Union know of the problems faced by the members . On the floor I work , when problems crop up , they are aired and if action can be taken it is , other floors in my hospital don't participate , get scrw'd royally , then moan the union is doing nothing , no the members are doing nothing .
    Back to SEIU ,as I said in my earler post and you are correct in this , their main interst appears to be growth , rather than effective representation .I feel there is benefit in collective bargaining and from the posts upon this Forum it appears , that most share the view that CNA/NNOC acts with the professions interest foremost , and act for their members and not their employers.
    Julia RN, RN Power Ohio, lindarn, and 2 others like this.
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    There's nothing wrong with a union that wants to grow as such. The question to ask is in the manner and goal of the growth. The labor movement in America has dwindled for many reasons, but one of those is unions who lost interest in organizing new members and focus only on protecting the perks and pay of the members they already have. So growth is needed. But a union should grow by setting standards and winning contracts that make people want to join. Not by "organizing the boss" through agreements that lower standards and give up members' rights to win organizing agreements.

    It's also important to understand some of the background of mailers that nurses in California have been getting in the mail - mailers that give the impression of coming from nurses who want to change the direction of CNA, but are actually coming from SEIU. What they are seeking is nurses within CNA to run for the CNA board as SEIU sponsored candidates in order that SEIU would have people as its agents on the CNA board.

    Even the slightest bit of logical thought makes it obvious that those sending the cards are not dissident nurses within CNA, since if they were members, they would not have to solicit anyone else to run for the board - they could run themselves. Also, there have been at least two mass mailings to nurses across California, with likely more to come plus professional robo-calls. Total cost has to be many thousands, which clearly could not be financed by a few dissidents within CNA. Has to be an outside entity doing it. And there's only one outside entity with the interest and the resources - and the history of this sort of attack on rival unions. This overt attempt to interfere in another union's election is blatantly illegal, but legal remedies take time. So CNA is fighting back in the only real way available, by informing members what's going on - hence the flyers from CNA.
    Julia RN and RN4MERCY like this.
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    The SEIU is nothing more than a political parasite that feeds off of the membership. It exists solely to further it's own agenda. It has done little to nothing for the staff that it claims to "represent", rather, it views our facility's 1400 RNs as cash cows to fund it's political programs. The SEIU negotiated a "contract" with the hospital that is violated daily. What does the SEIU do? Nothing. They just continue to collect dues. I am not anti-union, I think unions have a place in health care. I am most definetly anti-SEIU, they have no place in health care.
    mdfog10, nicurn001, RN4MERCY, and 1 other like this.


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