Labor & Healthcare-The Issue of Our Time

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    labor & healthcare-the issue of our time
    you probably know that the uaw has called a national strike against gm. this is the first auto strike since 1976, the first strike against gm since 1970...and the first strike since the afl endorse a "medicare for all" style guaranteed healthcare plan.
    and what are they fighting for? healthcare..of course!

    (cross-posted at the national nurses organizing committee/california nurses association’s breakroom blog, as we organize to make 2007 the year of guaranteed healthcare on the single-payer model.)
    executives, while pressing u.a.w. members to make concessions.

    no one keeps the stats, but about 90 percent of strikes are caused by the issue of healthcare. the labor movement remains at the heart of the movement to protect and expand access to healthcare for all people, while employers are looking to get out of the healthcare field. it is cruel and short-sighted of employers to just want to drop benefits rather than look for solutions that are in everbody's interests.

    and guess what? it’s only going to get worse. just like gm will try to dump their u.s. employees out of the healthcare system, and end their own interest in solving the healthcare crisis, many of the healthcare reform proposals being floated by politicians will encourage the same thing to happen.

    look at the emerging deal between schwarzenegger and the legislature in california:
    employers spend between 12% and 15% of payroll on average for health care, and cna fears either the 4% or 7.5% plan would encourage them to move to high-deductible insurance policies with limited services, communications director chuck idelson said.
    "if you think we have a lot of labor strife now over health-care benefits, wait until this plan goes into effect," idelson said of the democratic bill.
    unlike employers, labor unions won’t give up the fight for guaranteed healthcare. why? because more and more employers think of medicaid and charity care as their health benefit. and now even healthcare workers are in danger of losing their healthcare. strikes like the uaw’s will help us build momentum for guaranteed, single-payer healthcare—and force corporations to really grapple with the crisis.

    the rapid unionization of america’s rns will also provide the movement with a committed, organized, knowledgable group of activists who are personally committed to improving patient care. as uaw is standing up to gm, california’s nurses will take the lead in standing up to the fake healthcare reform bill that is being pushed by a "coalition of the willing" sacramento insiders.
    healthcare hero sen. sheila kuehl, author of the groundbreaking single-payer bill sb 840:
    "i continue to believe that the movement that's been building for single payer, a movement that has seen support for a single payer universal health care system more than double over the last six months alone, will continue to build in '08 in'09 in 2010," kuehl said. "then, with a new governor, perhaps there might finally be a chance to get a signature on the bill that is actually the best solution for businesses, for employees, and for all the people in california. because if you take the insurance companies out of the system, and they are the only entity that adds no value at all to the provision of health care, the overall costs for health care in california drop $19 billion in the first year alone, simply because we're finally not paying their inflated overhead and profit."

    and finally, zenei cortez, rn, a member of the council of presidents of the california nurses association/national nurses organizing committee issued the following statement on the uaw strike:
    america’s registered nurses recognize that the uaw is standing up not just for their own healthcare—but for the healthcare of all our patients. the california nurses association and national nurses organizing committee strongly supports their efforts, and will continue to work to see guaranteed healthcare won for autoworkers and everyone else in this nation.

    to join the fight for guaranteed healthcare (with a "medicare for all" or singlepayer financing), visit guaranteedhealthcare.org, a project of the national nurses organizing committee/california nurses association.
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  3. 23 Comments so far...

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    The only statement that doesn't make sense to me is "employers think Medicaid and other such programs will take care of their healthcare needs".

    If a person is employed, chances are their gross or net will surpass the required monetary restrictions placed on these such programs.

    I don't think someone will quit there union job to get medicaid, but who knows, people with pre-existing conditions have been known to freak about their continued healthcare. Just my 0.02 worth.
    herring_RN likes this.
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    I was referring to empolyers don't already provide health insurance :spin:
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    Quote from lizzyj
    I was referring to empolyers don't already provide health insurance :spin:
    Sorry about that ,misread.:uhoh21:
    herring_RN and lizzyj like this.
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    This is one of the reasons I do not like unions. I don't believe single-payer gov't run health care is the best solution to the problems w/ health care in the US yet, if I were in the NNOC/CNA, my dues would go toward funding this push for UHC. I don't think UHC will solve probs like unsafe ratios or manditory overtime (the gov't is just as likely to try to save a buck by scrimping on nurses as a pvt. organization) so how is this helping nurses.
    Spidey's mom likes this.
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    My expereience working under a mandarory union was this:
    I had to pay dues not only for union healthcare benefits, I also was protected with worker's rights. Rights to be sick, to not get in trouble if OT occured, senority for fairness in holidays, progressive leadership equality. I learned alot about the "union", only because after exhausting all my options on a particular issue did I then have that outlet, to have orginazational people come in and go to bat for me and make sure the rigts(contract) was inforced, or the company faced penalties.
    Unions now I belive are looking out for the nurses and blu collar guys and all types of jobs to do just this, to protect from unjust treatment. Healthcare is just part of the package. I don't know the answer as to how their interaction with the gov'tor HC institutions will be, But I can bet they will be there. IMO.
  9. 0
    Quote from sharona97
    My expereience working under a mandarory union was this:
    I had to pay dues not only for union healthcare benefits, I also was protected with worker's rights. Rights to be sick, to not get in trouble if OT occured, senority for fairness in holidays, progressive leadership equality. I learned alot about the "union", only because after exhausting all my options on a particular issue did I then have that outlet, to have orginazational people come in and go to bat for me and make sure the rigts(contract) was inforced, or the company faced penalties.
    Unions now I belive are looking out for the nurses and blu collar guys and all types of jobs to do just this, to protect from unjust treatment. Healthcare is just part of the package. I don't know the answer as to how their interaction with the gov'tor HC institutions will be, But I can bet they will be there. IMO.
    I really think nurses need a union to safeguard their interests but I wish they would stay out of the political spectrum w/ my money. If they want to send their members a fact sheet w/ info on legislation pending or on candidates that is one thing. When they start spending lg amts of money to push a particular candidate or piece of legislation I really don't like it. Even things like endorsing a candidate, do members get to vote about that? If not I have a problem w/ them using member dues for it. JMO
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    I agree with your concerns on how a union advocates (with our money) point toward particular politicians. Too me (not saying it is correct), it goes up the chain to their huge lobbyist pool.

    Another point you had made about including us or invoving us in their decisions I have seen through the Union paper that I recevie in our area. It's a generalized paper that includes many diffferent unions and their news on different subjects.

    I will say Fronky Bean, that with their chioces and opinions also inluded are the reasons why, which of course could be at times purely subjective in nature, Yet at other times is very fact-forming and written in such a way.

    I tend to agree with their candidate choices IMO as I watch and read material relating to this and just don't rely on "what the paper says". I realize not all folks do this.
    fronkey bean likes this.
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    Quote from sharona97
    My expereience working under a mandarory union was this:
    I had to pay dues not only for union healthcare benefits, I also was protected with worker's rights. Rights to be sick, to not get in trouble if OT occured, senority for fairness in holidays, progressive leadership equality. I learned alot about the "union", only because after exhausting all my options on a particular issue did I then have that outlet, to have orginazational people come in and go to bat for me and make sure the rigts(contract) was inforced, or the company faced penalties.
    Unions now I belive are looking out for the nurses and blu collar guys and all types of jobs to do just this, to protect from unjust treatment. Healthcare is just part of the package. I don't know the answer as to how their interaction with the gov'tor HC institutions will be, But I can bet they will be there. IMO.
    I went through similar experiences when confronted by a bully boss. By using the union and interventions that they negotiated on behalf of all employees I was able to reclassify to a job that saved my pension, my insurance benefits and allowed me to go to school for my RN. While the abusive period sucked and I am still recovering from the emotional abuse in the long run the system worked. I will end up much better off in the middle to long term because of the help of the union. Dues are very cheap insurance to pay for the protection afforded against unfair and discriminatory treatment.
  12. 0
    Quote from fronkey bean
    I really think nurses need a union to safeguard their interests but I wish they would stay out of the political spectrum w/ my money. If they want to send their members a fact sheet w/ info on legislation pending or on candidates that is one thing. When they start spending lg amts of money to push a particular candidate or piece of legislation I really don't like it. Even things like endorsing a candidate, do members get to vote about that? If not I have a problem w/ them using member dues for it. JMO
    Then get involved in your local. If you don't like a particular issue set advance your point of view at meetings. (Although for the life of me I cannot fathom the reasons that anyone who works for a living would ever vote for conservative policies.) Unions (ideally) are democratic organizations. Like any other organization they are run by the people who show up for meetings. So my challenge to you is show up and make your voice heard.


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