The Great American Hospital Organizing Campaign has begun!

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    today the california nurses association/national nurses organizing committee (cna/nnoc) and the service employees international union (seiu) announced an accord to work together to bring union representation to all non-union rns and other healthcare employees in the us.

    as nurses, we know all too well that working in a hospital these days means engaging in a daily struggle to provide care in an industry more concerned about it’s bottom-line than about providing patient care.

    registered nurses struggle day in and day out to provide care without adequate staffing and resources.

    non-rn hospital staff are struggling to fulfill essential hospital functions with ever decreasing numbers of staff, while worrying that they’ll be the next to be laid off.

    patients, left to wonder if a nurse will be available to help if they ring their call-lights and whether their hospital bills will bankrupt their families are likely the most affected.

    the accord between cna/nnoc and seiu and the resulting massive increase in unionization will improve the experience of providing and receiving care in us hospitals—and the resulting movement will change the whole nature of how health care is provided in the us.

    read the press release here

    in the words of rose ann demoro, the executive director of cna/nnoc, the nation's largest organization of direct care rns with 85,000 members in all 50 states:
    "this is an exciting new day for nurses and patients across the nation. this agreement provides a huge spark for the emergence of a more powerful, unified national movement that is needed to more effectively challenge healthcare industry layoffs and attacks on rn economic and professional standards and patient care conditions. it will also strengthen the ability of all direct-care rns to fight for real healthcare reform and advocate for improved patient care conditions and stronger patient safety legislation from coast to coast."

    in the words of andy stern, president of seiu,the nation’s largest healthcare union:
    "this marks the beginning of a new future for nurses and other healthcare workers and their patients throughout this nation. we are lining up to make sweeping changes to this country’s broken healthcare system, and as we wait for the starting gun it is imperative that we put the past behind us and move forward by putting all healthcare workers in the strongest possible position to define reform, move legislation, and make the new healthcare system operational. is this accord surprising? perhaps, but those who recognize our shared value of making sure registered nurses and other healthcare workers have not only a say but a critical role in helping reshape a failed system into something that actually helps people know that this is the right step to help us meet the challenge and the call of this moment.”

    among key elements of the pact:


    • the two unions will work together to organize non-union hospital workers throughout the country, with cna/nnoc as the leading voice for rns, and seiu as the leading voice for all other hospital workers.

    • the unions will launch an intensive national organizing campaign with an initial focus on the nation’s largest hospital systems.

    • in addition to organizing, seiu and cna/nnoc will coordinate on a broad range of other issues from bargaining with common employers to the campaign to enact the employee free choice act.

    • seiu and cna/nnoc publicly endorse measures that allow states to adopt single-payer health care systems.

    • both parties will refrain from "raiding," seeking to displace the existing members of the other's organization, or from interference in the other's internal affairs.

    • the two unions will create a new joint rn organization in florida to represent current and future rns of both unions. in all other states, seiu will continue to represent their current rn members in collective bargaining.
    Agrippa, lindarn, RN4MERCY, and 3 others like this.
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  3. 17 Comments so far...

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    For all of us who believe nurses do better in unions, and all of us who believe the US health care system needs big change, this is very good news indeed. This will let us move forward in a whole new way.
    lindarn, herring_RN, RN4MERCY, and 2 others like this.
  5. 4
    "However brilliant an action, it should not be esteemed great unless the result of a great motive."
    – Francois de La Rochefoucauld, French author (1613-1680)

    IMHO the great motive is the achievement of a Single Payer, "Medicare for All" health care system in this country! As Eleanor Roosevelt said, "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." The beautiful thing is that it's not just a dream, it's legislation: H.R. 676--The United States National Health Insurance Act. :redpinkhe
    lindarn, laborer, herring_RN, and 1 other like this.
  6. 2
    The consolidation of corruption.

    Brings a tear to my eye.
    K98 and SandraCVRN like this.
  7. 2
    sarcasm
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on May 4, '09
    laborer and lindarn like this.
  8. 1
    Quote from RN4MERCY
    "
    IMHO the great motive is the achievement of a Single Payer, "Medicare for All" health care system in this country!
    Good luck finding doctors when we have medicare for all. There is a serious decline in surgeons esp cardic surgeons. My docs tell me they are paid 80% less now (for medicaid pts)then 20 years ago, the anesthesiologists have told me the same thing.


    Just months ago both these groups were touting the evils of the group...........

    Now we are supposed to trust them both???????????????
    lindarn likes this.
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    Quote from SandraCVRN
    Good luck finding doctors when we have medicare for all. There is a serious decline in surgeons esp cardic surgeons. My docs tell me they are paid 80% less now (for medicaid pts)then 20 years ago, the anesthesiologists have told me the same thing.


    Just months ago both these groups were touting the evils of the group...........

    Now we are supposed to trust them both???????????????
    So, what's wrong with organizing and demanding reinvestment in public health care, fair compensation for services, public accountability, and equitable access to care? What's wrong with replacing the bureaucratic mess of multiple greedy insurance payers' multiple rules, and multiple plans, with just one public payer? A publicly accountable payer, with one set of rules for coverage and reimbursement?

    As Florence Nightingale said, "Were there none who were discontented with what they have, the world would never reach anything better." As a nurse, I'm sure fed up with a system that harms people and sacrifices them on the altar of greed. Ms Nightingale also said this, "I think one's feelings waste themselves in words; they ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results." I think Florence would be proud of the United American Nurses/National Nurses Organizing Committee for taking action in support of expanding and improving Medicare for all.

    Insurers deny payment for services, rescind coverage, exclude sick people from being able to buy affordable coverage, and restrict choice of providers/facilities, and make buckets full of profits for what? Why? Because they can. Because they buy off politicians with campaign contributions and those politicians push through laws that assure corporate profit, at the expense of the rest of us. What a ripoff. Socially and ethically.

    The majority of people in this country are in support of a public plan and there are politicians, like Congressman Conyers and the co-sponsors of HR 676 who are working to pass this legislation.

    Are the docs you're working with just content to whine about the problem? Don't they realize they're victims of a "learned powerlessness" behavioral conditioning scheme that perfectly suits the corporate agenda? Somehow they've come to believe that the current system is in their best interest. So, as more and more people lose jobs, and employers divest themselves of health insurance benefits, more of their privately "insured" patients won't be able to come to them for care. The best way for them to assure that their patients and their incomes are protected is for them to fight for a a publicly accountable single payer national health plan. Why aren't they working to improve and expand Medicare instead of just complaining about it and turning their backs on patients in need?

    I hope you will encourage them to join and help organize with the Physician's for a National Health Program.

    Currently, the U.S. health care system is outrageously expensive, yet inadequate. Despite spending more than twice as much as the rest of the industrialized nations ($7,129 per capita), the United States performs poorly in comparison on major health indicators such as life expectancy, infant mortality and immunization rates. Moreover, the other advanced nations provide comprehensive coverage to their entire populations, while the U.S. leaves 47 million completely uninsured and millions more inadequately covered.

    Single-payer national health insurance is a system in which a single public or quasi-public agency organizes health financing, but delivery of care remains largely private. Under a single-payer system, all Americans would be covered for all medically necessary services, including: doctor, hospital, long-term care, mental health, dental, vision, prescription drug and medical supply costs. Patients would regain free choice of doctor and hospital, and doctors would regain autonomy over patient care.

    Physicians would be paid fee-for-service according to a negotiated formulary or receive salary from a hospital or nonprofit HMO / group practice. Hospitals would receive a global budget for operating expenses. Health facilities and expensive equipment purchases would be managed by regional health planning boards.

    A single-payer system would be financed by eliminating private insurers and recapturing their administrative waste.
    Last edit by RN4MERCY on Apr 12, '09
    laborer, lindarn, and herring_RN like this.
  10. 1
    Why aren't they working to improve and expand Medicare instead of just complaining about it and turning their backs on patients in need?

    I never said they were whining nor have I ever seen them turn thier backs on anyone.

    I'm more concerned about 2 groups that just months ago were both telling me how horrible the other was.
    lindarn likes this.
  11. 1
    Quote from SandraCVRN
    Why aren't they working to improve and expand Medicare instead of just complaining about it and turning their backs on patients in need?

    I never said they were whining nor have I ever seen them turn thier backs on anyone.

    I'm more concerned about 2 groups that just months ago were both telling me how horrible the other was.
    The physician groups were lodging complaints against each other...? I guess I misunderstood the part where you said good luck finding doctors when we have medicare for all...the way I read it, it sounded like there was a decline in surgeons due to the decreased reimbursement rate, so that leaves patients with longer waits and less access to the care they need...so my point was, the doctors leave rather than stay and fight. By leaving, they're in essence turning their backs on patients who need their services. Yes, thank goodness, there are still those who continue to see patients regardless of the fact that reimbursements have decreased. Those doctors would most likely see an increase in income if we had medicare for all because the billing would be simplified--only one payer, so the docs wouldn't have to employ so many billing clerks. And there would be one place to submit a fee for service to, and there would be a transparent and publicly accountable list of all medically necessary health care services that are covered benefits. The doctors would know that they're going to get paid and what they're going to get paid...definitely not true when dealing with the insurance companies and their thousands of "plans," that have so many loopholes and exclusions, even people with insurance are suffering and dying left and right.
    laborer likes this.
  12. 1
    I'm more concerned about 2 groups that just months ago were both telling me how horrible the other was.

    Sorry I was unclear about which two groups I was talking about, my tired brain knew I was talking about different things. (doctors/unios) I meant NNOC/CNA & SEIU less than 6 months ago they were both telling me (personally) how bad the other was.

    I am not against unions, it just scares me that now they seem to be buddies.

    Sorry again for the miscommunication.
    laborer likes this.


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