New National Nurses Organization???

  1. I'd like to hear more discussion about this concept of a "new national nurses organization" by the nurses involved from California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and now Maine. Anyone know what it will be called?

    This is an excerpt,

    "With MNA’s new freedom, the organization plans to evaluate its current working relationship with other like-minded independent nursing organizations to create a more progressive, staff nurse-oriented national organization that will give front-line caregivers an undiluted, uncompromised voice on issues of particular concern to staff nurses. Work in this regard would involve MNA’s members and ultimately would be ratified by the membership.

    In fact, immediately after the vote, the MNA will meet with the California Nurses Association and the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals, to begin discussions about the building of a new nurse association that will include staff nurses and nurses who support them; providing a forum for these organizations to push their agenda on the national stage. "

    Read the entire article at http://www.calnurse.org/cna/press/32401.html
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   -jt
    New nurses' group creates political split

    <http://boston.bcentral.com/boston/stories/2001/04/23/story4.html>
  4. by   CEN35
    I think that if this happens, and other states follow it could be a very good thing.

    However, there has to be a few very visible things present:

    1 - They show that they support ALL nurses. Not just those of the advance practices and/or degrees. (yes, because I know someone will ask......I mean LPN's also).

    2 - Other states continue to join in with this group, of Maine, Mass, PA and Ca.

    If this was done....I could see this potential new organization pciking up new mambers rapidly. Even at the same cost of what the yearly dues for the ANA are now. Keep in mind, that the ANA pushes the advance practice and degree nurses. Allegedly only about 6-10% of the nursing population in this country has joined the ANA. The majority of the nurses out there, are staff nurses, who are diploma/ADN/ASN/LPN's. Then there are quite a few BSN's also. Knowing this, does anyone think it's coincidental, that the ANA only has 7-10% of the nurse population as members? My guess is it's no coincidence. If these states can pull together, and get others to join and support "ALL NURSES", I see their recruitment and membership surpassing that of the ANA in leaps and bounds. If that happens, and say they get 50% of what's left to join? They will be way ahaead of the ANA, and have more lobbying and media power. That is what we need right now to be heard.
    It kind of reminds me of the civil war!! There is the possibility of a new confederacy, , except in this case it could be a very good thing!

    Rick
  5. by   SeasonedRN
    I think they should name their new organization "DIVIDED WE FALL" because this is going to be what happens to nurses.

    As I understand it, MNA {mass} does not want anyone but staff/bedside nurses in its union/association. CNA is all union as well. What about the nurses who sit in between? Maybe the staff rn who cannot work at the bedside anymore due to age, injury, illness, etc?

    They are setting up reverse discrimination to relatliate against the years of pro advanced nurses. In the end, we will all be sorry.

    This looks more like a business move, creating competition rather than a professional move for unity. These groups wont even support eachothers legislation anymore. Very sad.
  6. by   RNed
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by wildtime88:
    [QB]The end of the ANA as we know it might be the best thing to ever happen for the staff nurses. Another better focused organization could be the answer so many of us have been looking for. ]

    Another national nursing organization may add competition to the ANA. When competition is added, there may be more effort in meeting the membership needs or demands. This might be a good thing !!

    As to dividing the membership and losing strength by this division. As I undestand it, few out of many, belong to the ANA. If the membership came from those who do not belong, then ANA membership would not decrease. If they (ANA) are doing a good job, they have nothing to fear and would not lose members. If not, they would need to meet the needs of their members to retain them. Alittle reality check, might be good!

    In an ideal world, I would like to see an association designed for the advancement of nursing as a science. This would be totally seperate from a union or bargaining agent.

    I would also like to see a union or bargaining agent solely for the purpose of pay, benefits and working conditions.

    We could belong to both, neither, or one or the other.

    We cloud and co-mingle issues when the association is also the bargaining agent. We sacifice and compromise to easily. We don't strike, which seems the only tool a union has, because it goes against our core value of providing care. Management continues to use this against us. We strike, withhold care for money, when at all other times, we pride ourselves by providing care without regard to race, ethnicity, ability to pay, etc. We can not sincerely answer this question in ourselves and we can not sincerely answer this question to the media and patients. Until we seperate money and care issues, we will continue to have this division in our nurses.
    The fact we are having this discussion may motivate the ANA. Change is not a bad thing.
  7. by   -jt
    "They have decided to tackle the issue of pay directly and use legislation as a tool ....At first when you read their philosophy it almost sounds identical to the ANA but after you delve in a little further you can see the difference."

    It sounds like the ANA because they took everything they have FROM the ANA...except its nurses in Massachusetts who dont work at the bedside. Non-bedisde nurses are not included. Thats the difference.
    Ps.
    Werent you the guy complaining about us all using legislation as a tool & extolling how that was wrong & never going to work?
    Seen the light now?
  8. by   -jt
    "If the membership came from those who do not belong,..."

    It seems to me that this is what should be happening since there are about 2 million out there. That would be great. Instead, the main effort has been to break up existing state associations & other unions, like the nurses branch of the Teachers Union in PA which CNA helped pull nurses out of under questionable circumstances which caused other nurses to start lawsuits in PA too.

    I think maybe CNA doesnt have so much confidence in itself & has to try to get rid of "competition" in order to go on with its plans.

    Rather than organizing those unorganized 2 million nurses, the focus is on trying to convince ANA nurses & other unionized nurses to leave their own organizations instead.

    Building an organization by raiding another is pretty low. There are 2 million nurses available to be recruited. According to some people, those nurses dont belong to the ANA because they dont like its philosophy. So now there is another, supposedly better, organization to choose from yet they arent flocking there either. And the CNA isnt trying to draw them in.

    Instead its going after the same 6% that the ANA already has. Funny - everybody keeps saying that 6% is minute & insignificant but it looks like lots of people want that meager 6% to move to their camp. I wonder why.

    Are we so wonderful that the effort is not about going after the 2 million available nurses out there but rather has come down to a fight over who gets this 6% of the nations nurses? or is there another agenda at work there?

    I have to wonder why the CNA thinks it cant exist if the ANA is around. If the ANA is so ineffective & insignificant & useless as they say, CNA should be raking in those 2 million nurses by now & not giving a second thought to the ANA. Why cant it work with the ANA around? Because the ANA is not as uselss & insignificant as those people would like everyone to think. And the CNA is threatened by it & jealous of the recognition & respect ANA is afforded out there.

    So their immediate goal is not to organize those 2 million nurses who do not belong to any group. The immediate goal is to try to put the ANA out of business. And thats what their members dues money is being spent on.

    There is a personal agenda going there & its at the expense of nurses.

    Too bad CNA & MNA have taken the tone they have. Its such a shame. ALL nurses groups should be working together no mater what their philosophies. Instead they have to go for each others throats. Typical nurses.
  9. by   SeasonedRN
    Mr. Wildtime,

    It sounds to me like you might one of those professional union busters, or some one paid to salt the masses with discontent. In the invisible world of the internet, we do not even know if you are really an RN. You sure do have alot of time to simultaneously run 3-4 anti ANA posts in the top 5 every day.

    For all we know, CNA/MNA/AHA etc pay you to keep us at eachothers throats so we have no time to ACT.

    Some of see things very clearly.
  10. by   -jt
    <No, I am not a union buster, but I believe that nurses can achieve a whole lot more on their own without a union.>

    You talk out of both sides of your mouth.
    You dont like the idea of nurses using legislation as a tool but in another post you support exactly that. You dont like nurses in unions but you support a union of bedside nurses only. You think individual nurses can do something to change things on their own, but you wont reach out to a group of nurses in Maine who arent even aware of what you so clearly see them headed for - instead, you demand other nurses or groups save them before they even ask to be helped. If individual nurses can fix it all, why havent they yet? How much have you personally accomplished in this struggle? what exactly are you doing in the whole scheme of things - besides contradicting yourself?
  11. by   -jt
    "the ANA pushes the advance practice and degree nurses. Allegedly only about 6-10% of the nursing population in this country has joined the ANA. The majority of the nurses out there, are staff nurses, who are diploma/ADN/ASN/LPN's."


    What are you talking about? do you even realize that the majority of those 6 - 10% who have joined the ANA ARE staff nurses at the bedside & the majority of those ARE ADNS/diploma nurses? They are also unionized. The ANA consists of 6 - 10 % of the total number of nurses in the nation, but the majority of the ANA members are unionized STAFF NURSES (ADN/Diploma nurses) who work at the bedside in direct patient care situations. A true representaion of the nursing workforce of this country.

    I dont see the CNA organizing all the other 90-something % of nurses who are out there who need it. All I see them doing is raiding other established organziations of the SAME 6 - 10 % of the nurses who already ARE doing something & I see them pitting nurses against nurse. If you arent in direct care at the bedside, you cant belong.

    They dont want ALL of the ANA - they only want the strong, unionized, collective bargaining staff RNs who make up the majority of the ANA - instead of going out & building their own organization from the ground up & servicing the other 2.4 million nurses out there. They want a ready-made strong, vocal membership who are used to paying dues - the same 6% that are already represented.

    For all the crying about those poor 2.4 million "unrepresented" nurses out there, apparently, they can just continue to wait until the CNA builds its organization with the same 6% who are already represented (unionized ANA nurses) instead of them.

    If CNAs goal is to be of service to nurses who, for whatever reasons didnt become involved before, then I wish them well. The nursing world is big enough. More clout to add to the struggle. But if their goal is to beat the ANA in numbers, to me thats suspect. Is the real mission to help nurses or to get revenge for a bitter clash 5 years ago. Is the agenda to work together for the common good of nurses or to cut the "competition"? Personal agenda seems to be a part of it when all they can think of is to lure away from the ANA instead of going full steam ahead getting started with the other 2.4 million nurses they claim to exist for.

    Everyone keeps talking about the 90-plus % of nurses who arent in the ANA. WHY isnt the CNA organizing those nurses? WHY is their whole focus on trying to steal the measely 6% who are already in the ANA? Why arent any of you asking that question?

    While the CNA tries to build itself on the back of the ANA, who is taking care of all those millions of nurses who are not yet "represented"? Why can CNA only grow by pulling nurses from the ANA when so many millions more are already out there waiting?Why do some people think that the only way for CNA to succeed is if the ANA ceases to exist? Thats most curious indeed.

    Initally, I looked at it as there is another good organization for nurses - more voices to be heard & more muscle to add to the fight. But then I saw that people dont want to ADD their voices to the fight, they want to push everyone elses out. How is that going to help any of us?
  12. by   Chellyse66
    New Steelworkers-Nurses Alliance
    To Challenge SEIU on Organizing


    By Harry Kelber

    The United Steelworkers of America has formed an alliance with the
    California
    Nurses Assn. to organize millions of hospital workers who have no union
    protection. The new group, known as the Health Care Workers Alliance, will
    join a crowded field in which at least eight international unions have
    staked
    out jurisdictional claims by organizing at least one hospital. But the
    Alliance's toughest task will be to compete successfully with the Service
    Employees International Union, which has organized 710,000 health care
    workers and is recognized by the AFL-CIO as the dominant union in the
    industry. Instead of organizing hospital by hospital, the Alliance plans to
    target chains of hospitals and entire regions, as well as other segments of
    the industry, according to Steelworkers' President Leo Gerard. The
    700,000-member union has increased its organizing budget from $12 million in
    1997 to $40 million this year, he added. "We will be able to change the
    dynamics in the industry and make it a 'caring system' again," said CNA
    President Kay McVay. "By working with the USWA, we will have additional
    power
    to protect the professional practice of nurses." In recent years, a
    "catch-all" organizing approach has become so prevalent that unions with no
    direct connection to the health care industry have been trying to organize
    workers all over the country. Operating Engineers, Food and Commercial
    Workers, Teachers, Communications Workers, Teamsters, Laborers, Public
    Employees, Steelworkers and Mine Workers have all jumped into the fray. The
    Service Employees, the largest and fastest-growing AFL-CIO union, have
    organized more health care workers than all the others combined. Why the
    focus on hospitals? Because they have been relatively easy to organize.
    Unions can boast a win rate of about 60% of all National Labor Relations
    Board elections at hospitals, according to the SEIU, while the overall
    average win rate for 1999 was 51.3%. Lately, however, more hospitals are
    hiring professional union-busters who specialize in crushing organizing
    drives. Gerard notes that only about 10% of the nation's 11 million health
    care workers are organized and that employment in the health care industry
    is
    projected to increase to between 17 and 18 million by 2010. There are "tons
    of opportunities" for unions, he says, citing areas in New Mexico, Nevada,
    Arizona and Florida where the unionization rate in health care is only 2 to
    3%. The CNA's aggressive organizing tactics have enabled it to double its
    membership to 35,000 in the past few years. The alliance with the
    Steelworkers will allow CNA to capitalize on its contacts with tens of
    thousands of pro-union nurses. The Service Employees have not responded
    publicly to the challenge posed by the Alliance. But whatever its reaction,
    SEIU can be expected to charge the Steelworkers with violating Article XX of
    the AFL-CIO Constitution, which deals with jurisdictional disputes, since it
    has clearly established dominance in the health care field. Within the
    AFL-CIO, questions are sure to be raised about the Steelworkers' decision to
    choose the independent union as its organizing ally. CNA has a reputation
    for
    taking non-traditional stands on economic, social and political issues. For
    example, it supports universal health insurance and a national Labor Party,
    and it endorsed Ralph Nader for president in 2000. The Alliance has launched
    its first campaign at two Columbia-HCA hospitals in San Jose, Cal. - Good
    Samaritan and Mission Oaks - where CNA already represents nurses and they
    will work with the Steelworkers' organizers. The USWA-CNA alliance is, in
    part, a response to AFL-CIO President John Sweeney's complaints that the
    Steelworkers aren't doing enough organizing. Adding to the USWA's resentment
    is Sweeney's frequent praise for SEIU, the union he headed before becoming
    the top AFL-CIO official in 1995. Scattered within so many unions, hospital
    workers cannot speak with one voice about their needs and aspirations.
    Ultimately, there may have to be a conference of all unions in the health
    care industry to agree on a unified national organizing strategy. In the
    meantime, jurisdictional conflicts can and should be avoided, particularly
    since there are more than enough hospitals and nursing homes out there to
    keep organizers occupied for years. http://www.laboreducator.org/inside2.htm
  13. by   PeggyOhio
    Chellyse
    Finding out that the CNA is aligning itself with the United Steel workers doesn't inspire me to sign up. I'm in the Cleveland Ohio area. Big steel, big lay-offs, big shut down. LTV Steel here is going bankrupt. Asking employee to take a 30% cut. What good did having a union do them? Where was their union when domestic steel was being undercut by imports?
  14. by   -jt
    "A union? No a said a national association dedicated to the bedside care givers. In fact you know I would like to see an association which would empower it's members to directly stand up to the hospital CEOs who sign our paychecks instead of going to Washington and asking them to fix things for us. No union dues, No union elections, and No union envolvement."


    you dont want a union? But that organization IS a union - a labor union of just direct-care nurses, To address their issues. And they want to be the national union for nurses. how do you do that when you disregard all the other nurses in the profession & Their concerns? They promote unity - unity with pharmacists, lab techs, ancillary staff, & steel workers but they exclude an important part of nursing - other nurses.
    I am all for labor unions but since you arent, how come you didnt know that the organization you are supporting is a labor union? How much self-educating have you done on the topic before jumping in with your opinions. (which of course you are entitled to & so am I - so you can stop "trying to get rid of" me now.)

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