Mass Nurses vote to disaffiliate

  1. Today 2,367 R.N.s met in Worcester Mass. to vote on disaffiliation from the ANA. It was the largest gathering of Nurses in Mass. history. I went in more curious than committed. When I left, after talking and sharing stories with my colleagues, I was so PROUD to be a nurse. We don't feel that the ANA and the bargaining organ UAN is committed to the health care dilemma's confronting those of us at the bedside, and therefore the patients. Many of the leaders of ANA haven't been at the bedside for years! ( The saying goes that the more capitals letters you have after your RN the further away from hands on nursing you are.) We want to address staffing ratio's, mandatory overtime, restructuring and delegation of the nursing role to ancillary help NOW! We admire the gumtion of the California Nurses Association and want to ally ourselves with them and hopefully have other state nurses associations join with us in a nationwide movement.
    Our vote today was 1,925 to disaffiliate and 413 to stay with ANA. People who could not vote today due to religious reasons or because they were working will vote by mail, but the handwriting is on the wall. Join us.

    [This message has been edited by Hardknox (edited March 24, 2001).]
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   pickledpepperRN
    CONGRATULATIONS!
    You were victims of early restructuring like us in California. Let's all support our nursing colleagues for thimking of
    #1. PATIENTS
    #2. NURSES
    What is good for patients is good for nurses!
    Good for you!

    ------------------
  4. by   Hardknox
    By all means, copy and paste, but if you want the full story go to:
    http://massnurses.org and click on the champagne bottle with the news banner.

    I am more than surprised to see that this news item is not included in the nursing news section of All nurses.com. It is not even mentioned in the Boston Globe this morning.
    This is staff nurses standing up for staff nurses. It could be the start of a revolution in nursing and health care. If enough of the frontline nurses get the power to sway those in control, patient safety and the workplace environment may improve enough so that we will all have a nurse at our bedside when we need one.

    [This message has been edited by Hardknox (edited March 25, 2001).]
  5. by   -jt
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Hardknox:
    [B]
    Our vote today was 1,925 to disaffiliate and 413
    By all means, copy and paste, but if you want the full story: [Q]


    1,925 out of a membership of 20,000 is not exactly a majority. And the other side's perspective made for very interesting reading too....

    "Federal Court Upholds Massachusetts Nurses' Right to Vote to Disaffiliate from ANA Is NON-BINDING

    Court calls Disaffiliation Vote Non-binding

    Washington, DC -- During a contentious meeting in Worcester, Mass., today, less than 10 percent of the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) voted to disaffiliate from the American Nurses Association. The vote was non-binding. Judge George A. O'Toole of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts issued an injunction on March 23 to prohibit MNA from conducting a binding vote at its scheduled meeting today - or any other
    meeting - that could result in MNA disaffiliating from the ANA.

    The judge issued the injunction because the planned vote would deny the equal right to vote to MNA members who, for legitimate reasons, were unable to attend the meeting. The lawsuit was brought by three MNA members - Joanne Garvey, Devorah Baronsky and Patricia Tyra - who sought to protect every MNA members' right to vote. The Anti-Defamation League also weighed in, opposing the Saturday meeting because observant Jews would not be able to
    participate. The Court ruling directs the MNA to submit a plan to ensure that its members' equal right to vote is guaranteed and mandated that the plan be approved by the Court before it may be implemented. Judge O'Toole said that MNA had to have known that its decision to conduct the vote at its meeting would disenfranchise thousands of members and that this decision was probably "intentional." "This ruling is a victory for all nurses in
    Massachusetts because it says we all have the equal right to have our voices heard on this matter," said Peggy Barry, chair of the Committee to Preserve ANA Affiliation in Massachusetts.

    Today's vote was the third on MNA disaffiliation in less than five months. During two votes held at a Nov. 9 meeting, MNA members voted to remain affiliated with the ANA. During today's meeting at Mechanics Hall, MNA disaffiliation leaders sought to limit pro-affiliation supporters' communications with other members present. Specifically, while MNA leaders placed leaflets on every chair detailing their interpretation of the judge's injunction, they
    confiscated and destroyed flyers distributed by pro-affiliation MNA members, according to Annie Lewis O'Connor, an advanced practice registered nurse and MNA bargaining unit member. "Today, we witnessed an unfortunate violation of basic free speech rights," said Lewis O'Connor. "The ends of the disaffiliation proponents do not justify the means. What these people sought to do today and in the past several months was to stomp on an important aspect of
    democracy - first amendment free speech rights of their own members."

    MNA member Barbara Blakeney also reported that members of other unions - the California Nurses Association (CNA) in particular - were wearing MNA staff badges and controlling access to the meeting area. "The fact that CNA members were on hand to support the disaffiliation efforts today just illustrates the hypocrisy of the disaffiliation faction," said Karen Daley immediate past president of MNA. "First, they said this was an internal matter and
    prohibited pro-ANA supporters from our sister states as well as ANA leaders from attending and then invited pro-disaffiliation supporters from other unions to participate." Daley further explained that MNA disaffiliation leaders have spent months criticizing United American Nurses, the labor arm of the ANA, for exploring an affiliation with the national federation of unions, AFL-CIO. "Meanwhile, the group these MNA leaders want to follow - the
    California Nurses Association - recently formed what they themselves called a 'landmark alliance' with the United Steelworkers of America."

    The disaffiliation vote comes at a time when nurses and quality care are under siege. "Among the issues facing nurses are short staffing and mandatory overtime," noted ANA President Mary Foley. "Both practices put profits ahead of patients and create a dangerous environment for patients and nurses. We're very proud of our state nurses associations for attacking mandatory overtime through aggressive state legislation and contract language. Our UAN
    states are bargaining for and achieving contract language that prohibits mandatory overtime and protects patients. In addition, the ANA and its state members are coordinating a landmark federal-state legislative agenda to address short staffing and mandatory overtime and the nursing shortage." "Disaffiliation, I believe, will only hinder the ability of our profession to confront, in the most effective and credible manner possible, the many critical
    issues that threaten our future, both here in Massachusetts and across the country," said Daley. "All nurses share that common agenda and we should be working together to reach solutions. It's a sad day for nurses when we fight among ourselves instead of bonding together to secure needed protections for ourselves and our patients." "We need to remain united and join with a strong, viable, national group," said Lewis O'Connor, "ANA is that group now
    as it has always been - we need to preserve our influence and move forward." Foley agreed. "I am hopeful that we will unite in the end," said Foley, "and that the nursing profession will succeed in changing health care and preserving the special relationship we have with our patients."
    http://www.ana.org/pressrel/2001/massvote.htm

  6. by   hoolahan
    I asked this on the nursing spectrum board, and I will ask it here.

    Granted my comprehension of all the issues may not be a clear as everyone elses, but I have one simple observations/question.

    Why is the ANA so threatened by a group of nurses who have stated their mission is to improve the quality of pt care and working condiditons for nurses, that they would actually go to court to stop a vote? I just don't understand. If they do not feel the concerns of the MNA are valid, why not just let them disassociate, since their missions are not in sync? Don't you think the ANA is giving validity to the MNA by forcing the issue?

    The best thing to happen would be for a whole new nursing organization to evolve, the root of this org would be a union of the mass nurses and ca nurses. Then everyone can decide for themselves which organization is best for their own concerns. I for one do not support the ANA because I have always felt these high-level nurses have been out of touch with what it means to be a bedside nurse for a long time, yet they are to represent us? When was the last time those who went to court to block this vote did mandatory OT? Emptied a bedpan? Had to leave critically ill patients to go to the blood bank to get their own blood b/c there were no support staff on the night shift??? When was the last time they got a fresh cardiac post-op in the ICU, did their own EKG, drew their own labs, had to enter their own orders into the computer, and have another patient or two to boot? I am just waiting for hospitals to "cross train" nurses to do their own x-rays! And when does a floor nurse have the TIME to document on 3 separate flow sheets because a pt needed restraints, all while she has 10 other pt's to care for?? I support mass nurses all the way because I SUPPORT NURSES!!!!!!
  7. by   -jt
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by hoolahan:
    [B]
    Why is the ANA so threatened by a group of nurses who have stated their mission is to improve the quality of pt care and working condiditons for nurses, that they would actually go to court to stop a vote? I just don't understand. If they do not feel the concerns of the MNA are valid, why not just let them disassociate, since their missions are not in sync? Don't you think the ANA is giving validity to the MNA by forcing the issue?

    It was nurses who are members of the MNA who went to court against that vote. Contrary to recent PR, there really are nurses in Mass who are against what is happening there & they are trying to stop it. I dont think the ANA is threatened by the MNA. The ANA just does not believe the MNA self-appointed leaders should be able to "steal" an already-established organization - especially when 90% of its members didnt even vote on allowing it. The ANA's issue is not about the MNA's concerns. Its about pulling 20,000 members out of their organization just based on the desire of less than 10 % of the whole. If the membership was so interested in this, they would have made it their business to get their vote in. But 90% of the membership didnt even show up to vote. So it can be considered that the membership is not pushing for disaffiliation. ANA has a responsibility to its SNA & those members are the SNA. Therefore, how can the ANA just stand by & let a small group take the whole association & simply disassociate & walk away with them? If it was the other way around & 90% (or even 75%) of the membership demanded to leave the ANA & voted that way, the will of the members would be much clearer & a case could probably be made for just letting them disassociate. But since that didnt happen, I guess the 90% who didnt vote spoke louder than the 10% who did.

    I dont think any of this had to happen at all. The leaders of the ANA who have such terrible things to say about the ANA can leave it anytime they choose - no vote necessary - no one to prevent it. Theyve given enough explainations why they feel they cant be part of ANA anymore so if the new leaders of the MNA are so disillusioned with the ANA, & all they want is to be allowed to leave it, they can quit the MNA at anytime, resign their membership from the ANA, go off & open their own offices under a new name somewhere & any of their members who feel as they do can resign their ANA membership & go with them. No vote would be necessary. That way, those who want to stay can stay, those who want to go with another organization can go...no one has to vote on it at all. Why insist on pulling out the entire State Association - which is an ANA consitutent - & causing all this turmoil? Why keep having votes that the majority dont even show up for? Why not just quit the association that you hate & go do your own thing & let others who want to join you do so on their own accord? No one is stopping the MNA people from doing it that way.
  8. by   buck227
    I 100% agree with this post.
    The best thing to happen would be for a whole new nursing organization to evolve, the root of this org would be a union of the mass nurses and ca nurses. Then everyone can decide for themselves which organization is best for their own concerns. I for one do not support the ANA because I have always felt these high-level nurses have been out of touch with what it means to be a bedside nurse for a long time, yet they are to represent us? When was the last time those who went to court to block this vote did mandatory OT? Emptied a bedpan? Had to leave critically ill patients to go to the blood bank to get their own blood b/c there were no support staff on the night shift??? When was the last time they got a fresh cardiac post-op in the ICU, did their own EKG, drew their own labs, had to enter their own orders into the computer, and have another patient or two to boot? I am just waiting for hospitals to "cross train" nurses to do their own x-rays! And when does a floor nurse have the TIME to document on 3 separate flow sheets because a pt needed restraints, all while she has 10 other pt's to care for?? I support mass nurses all the way because I SUPPORT NURSES!!!!!![/B][/QUOTE]



    [This message has been edited by buck227 (edited March 27, 2001).]
  9. by   Rex
    I second what Buck said wow do your own xrays you see thats why I won't go on to be an RN you guys are always getting slaughtered by work that can be performed by someone else like a clerk. I love being an LVN so that I can be at the bed side. when all you RNs get together at last and form a National Union as buck I think is promoting and hopefully do include us LPN/LVNs. thats is definately impressive that so many nurses got together to speak up for themselves.

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