Info on Maine State Nurses/Calif. State Nurses/NNOC

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    Anyone have info on this? I received a postcard probably a month ago regarding safe patient/nurse ratios and how working with the NNOC/California Nurses Association would help Maine nurses have safer patient care and more tolerable working conditions. see http://sev.prnewswire.com/health-car...2102006-1.html

    I've also heard that this is NOT such a great idea, that the CNA is famous for union busting and actually making things WORSE for nurses.

    Any thoughts/ideas? To be honest I don't know much about it - I don't even know where to begin. Thanks!
    canoehead likes this.
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  3. 10 Comments so far...

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    Quote from zoeboboey
    Anyone have info on this? I received a postcard probably a month ago regarding safe patient/nurse ratios and how working with the NNOC/California Nurses Association would help Maine nurses have safer patient care and more tolerable working conditions. see http://sev.prnewswire.com/health-car...2102006-1.html

    I've also heard that this is NOT such a great idea, that the CNA is famous for union busting and actually making things WORSE for nurses.

    Any thoughts/ideas? To be honest I don't know much about it - I don't even know where to begin. Thanks!
    CNA is a union, so I don't understand the union-busting description (although they do rival SEIU). The press release that you link to was actually issued in 2006, when the MSNA voted to affiliate with CNA. The media reported that a CNA rep was involved with the contract negotiations at Eastern Maine Medical Center last fall.

    The Legislature enacted this law last year.
    lindarn likes this.
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    Quote from Freedom42
    CNA is a union, so I don't understand the union-busting description (although they do rival SEIU). The press release that you link to was actually issued in 2006, when the MSNA voted to affiliate with CNA. The media reported that a CNA rep was involved with the contract negotiations at Eastern Maine Medical Center last fall.

    The Legislature enacted this law last year.
    Yes, thanks, they were referring to the SEIU - thanks for the reference. Are you involved in MSNA NNOC a union or any other nursing organization? I was in MSNA for a short period but confess I did not do my part; now I am out of the field temporarily due to working conditions and my own conditions - I was thinking of getting more involved at some level.
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    Quote from zoeboboey
    Yes, thanks, they were referring to the SEIU - thanks for the reference. Are you involved in MSNA NNOC a union or any other nursing organization? I was in MSNA for a short period but confess I did not do my part; now I am out of the field temporarily due to working conditions and my own conditions - I was thinking of getting more involved at some level.
    I'm only a student at this point, but I follow MSNA and CNA pretty closely. I'm an ex-Teamster. I want my first nursing job (and all my nursing jobs, for that matter) to be in a union hospital if possible.
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    Quote from Freedom42
    I'm only a student at this point, but I follow MSNA and CNA pretty closely. I'm an ex-Teamster. I want my first nursing job (and all my nursing jobs, for that matter) to be in a union hospital if possible.
    That's awesome! thanks

    Are you in your student nursing assoc too?
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    Hi, I was searching for info on how many nurses belonged to the Maine State Nurses Association and ran across your post. I wanted to respond to what you heard about CNA making things worse for nurses and being union busters.

    I work in California and have been employed as a labor representative with CNA for almost a year, prior to that I represented nurses in Washington State and worked for SEIU Local 1199NW. CNA nurses in California earn the highest wages in the nation. They also have excellent health care and pension benefits, in many hospitals we are also winning retiree healthcare benefits. Nurses in California fought very hard to win staffing ratios. If you do a Google image search you will see photos where literally thousands of nurses protested to win this critical legislation.

    In the coming months Governor Schwarzenegger will probably make another attempt to roll back the ratios, and if you watch the news reports you will see thousands of nurses in the streets again because they believe that this legislation is critical to providing quality patient care.

    Regarding CNA being a union buster...you are right that SEIU is the organization that is leveling that charge. There is a deep philosophical disagreement between CNA and SEIU over how members should be represented. The heart of the disagreement revolves around whether or not it is ethical to negotiate sweetheart contracts with employers in return for rights to organize unorganized nurses. SEIU believes that behavior is ethical. CNA believes that it is not. SEIU attempted to negotiate a secret sweetheart agreement for a large group of nurses and ancillary staff at a Catholic healthcare system in Ohio. Three CNA staffers traveled to Ohio with three CNA members and told the nurses about the back door deal that SEIU was negotiating on their behalf. The Ohio nurses decided that they wanted no part of SEIU, and subsequently SEIU has called us union busters.

    If you would like to read more about the whole SEIU mess there is an excellent article that's still available on the internet titled Union Disunity that ran in the San Francisco Weekly about two years ago. The story is about the sweetheart deals that SEIU negotiated on behalf of their members in the nursing home industry. The SEIU local featured in the story was courageous enough to speak ot publicly about how these agreements negatively affect members. Unfortunately, SEIU just took over that local and threw out the only decent leaders that currently exist within SEIU. The story of that struggle can be found on a blog called Perez Stern and on the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) website.

    I hope this answered your questions without boring you to tears.
    Freedom42 likes this.
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    Quote from CNArepresentative

    I hope this answered your questions without boring you to tears.
    Not at all! I appreciate your posting!

    so are you in Maine now?

    I hate to say this but I think it's true, I don't think Maine nurses are as willing to go to bat for themselves But on the other hand, it has not been impossible to work here either. But with the economy who knows what will happen.

    Thank you very much for commenting! Any news you have on this is more than welcome!
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    CNA Rep, thank you for the link to the SF Weekly article. It really clarifies a lot of what I've read about SEIU.

    I am a new grad and recently accepted my first position at a non-union hospital. I understand that it's a standard practice to send nurses home without pay when the patient census declines, but it frustrates me nonetheless. (I doubt doctors take a similar pay cut when numbers are low.) How do CNA contracts typically address this issue? I know that some hospitals in my area pay nurses in these situations to remain "on call," but the pay rate is offensive ($2 to $3 an hour in some cases), and that's if you're paid at all. I realize that each contract is unique, but generally speaking, has the union made progress in this area?
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    I am assigned to California and don't anticipate coming to Maine anytime soon. Your winters are much too cold for me! LOL We do however have at least one labor representative that I know of assigned to Maine. CNA has over 250 staff and since I'm relatively new, I don't know everyone yet and don't know who else is assigned to Maine.

    Regarding low census...contracts differ in how they handle low census days. A couple of strategies that I have seen used in contracts are:

    Winning language that provides for nurses to be cross trained within their cluster so that nurses can float to more areas during times of low census. This language usually also includes provisions that the employer will also utilize nurses to do chart reviews, develop protocols, design or attend in-service, orientation, or cross training programs during times of low census.

    Some contracts have established low census banks where the employer provides a large bank of paid hours that nurses can utilize during times of low census.

    Other contracts simply limit the amount of time that a nurse can be placed on low census.

    To win any of these things nurses have to be organized. All of these strategies cost the employer money and I have never seen a non-union hospital voluntarily implement these types of strategies. The only advise I could offer in your current situation is, you might want think about signing up with some nurse temp agencies to see if you can pick up extra hours or after you have completed your probationary period. Best wishes!
    Last edit by Silverdragon102 on Feb 23, '09 : Reason: pm to member
    Freedom42 likes this.
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    One last thing, I just found a video on You Tube with nurses who were/are in Ohio talking about what happened in the campaign that resulted in SEIU calling us union busters. One nurse also talks about what it's like to be represented by CNA.

    The URL below is the link to the video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDILO...eature=related
    Freedom42 likes this.


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