UAN affiliates with AFL-CIO

  1. Anybody wondering where Ive been??? Come on admit it - you missed me! Well, Ive been a little busy......

    UAN Nurse Delegates to Convene in Washington, DC, June 27-28
    AFL-CIO Charter Vote to Occur;
    Nurses to Chart Course for National Union's Second Year

    Washington, DC -- More than 100 delegates and staff representatives from the United American Nurses (UAN), the union arm of the American Nurses Association (ANA), will gather in Washington, D.C. June 27-28 to take an historic vote on the UAN's affiliation with the AFL-CIO, discuss key resolutions and plan the union's activities for the coming year. The UAN is the nation's largest RN union, with 100,000 nurses.

    On Thursday, June 28, at 11 a.m., delegates will vote on affiliation with the AFL-CIO. A press conference with AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, UAN Chair Cheryl Johnson, RN, and ANA President Mary E. Foley, MS, RN, will be held Thursday, June 28, at noon at the Capitol Room at the Omni Shoreham.

    Nurse delegates will also vote on resolutions on topics ranging from the use of foreign nurses; the use of strikebreaking nurses from the U.S. Nursing Corp and other such agencies; the practice of strikebreaking, organizing initiatives; and the role of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

    WHO: United American Nurses delegates
    WHAT & WHEN: UAN National Labor Assembly, June 27, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; June 28, 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
    UAN/AFL-CIO Press Availability, June 28, 12-1 p.m.
    WHERE: Omni Shoreham Hotel, 2500 Calvert St., NW Washington, D.C
    http://www.ana.org/pressrel/2001/pr0622b.htm
    # # #

    The United American Nurses, the labor arm of the American Nurses Association, is the nation's largest union of RNs and is comprised of state nursing associations from 23 states, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands
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  2. 24 Comments

  3. by   -jt
    Nurses' Group Unites With AFL-CIO

    By LAWRENCE L. KNUTSON, Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP) - Representatives of the 100,000 members of United American Nurses voted unanimously
    Thursday to affiliate with the AFL-CIO in a quest for better pay and working conditions.``You have not misplaced your trust and we're going to be even better together,'' John J. Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO, said in a welcoming speech.The union is the collective bargaining arm of the American Nursing Association and represents nurses in 23 states and the District of Columbia.Mary Foley, president of the association, called the new partnership
    with the AFL-CIO good for nurses, patients and quality health care.Sweeney said the vote paves the way for a strong alliance that can better cope with an array of problems.He said these include rising health care costs, decreasing quality of care, and what he called a critical national shortage of nurses ``brought on by health care providers who would rather scour the world for cheaper labor than to invest in developing and maintaining a superior
    work force here at home.''Sweeney, wearing a bright red T-shirt with a union logo, said the AFL-CIO will call a meeting of top nursing-union leaders in Washington this fall to collaborate on a strategy of mutual support and organizing.``Health care executives, policy-makers and the news media are all talking about the critical nursing shortage and the fact that the profession has lost its popularity as a career choice for young women and men,''
    Sweeney said at a news conference following his speech.``But this is a staffing crisis which can be stopped by giving nurses better working conditions, recognition and respect for their professional expertise and appropriate compensation and benefits,'' he said.``Hospitals need not look outside this country's borders, but inside their own facilities to solve this shortage, and through their unions, nurses will help them do so,'' Sweeney said.


    http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/2001...s_union_1.html
  4. by   -jt
    >Representatives of the 100,000 members of United American Nurses voted
    >unanimously
    >Thursday to affiliate with the AFL-CIO >


    I was elected this year by the nurses in my state this year to be one of those representatives & hold a seat on the governing board of the UAN - one of the responsibilities being to weigh this decision over the preceeding months & vote for or against it at the 2nd annual UAN National Labor Assembly last Thursday. There were 94 of us from the 23 state associations, Washington DC, & the US Virgin Islands, which all together comprise the United American Nurses union. I have been in DC since the 25th for the UAN RN Lobby Day, for this second annual National Labor Assembly of the UAN from the 26th-28th and for a Staff Nurse Causus today, the 29th. I just got back home & am exhausted but it was an exhilarating experience......

    The excitement, solidarity, commraderie between the UAN members whenever we get together is wonderful. And the feeling of knowing we are all in this together, may live on opposite sides of the country but are connected thru our union, our belief in it & our activities with it for the betterment of our profession is a feeling I cannot describe effectively for those who have never experienced unity thru organization.....

    Besides the building-up to the historic vote, which was passed by us unanimously & the electrifying effect that had on the atmosphere, we also had yet another opportunity to brainstorm, work together, share experiences, & just hang out & party with our brother & sister UAN union members from states all across the country.....

    I had the pleasure of spending lots of time with my friends in Minnesota again - the same ones that led the 9,000 Minnestoa Nurses Assoc (MnNA/UAN) RNs thru successful contract negotiations & a successful strike of 1,354 nurses, including our own lovely JennyP who I wouldnt have known if it wasnt for this website. It was so nice to meet her & in person. Those Minnesota nurses are still smiling even after all theyve been through! I hear they come from strong stock out there in the midwest! I also got to spend time with my friends the striking nurses in Youngstown Ohio from the Ohio Nurses Assoc. (ONA/UAN), who are on strike 60 days now (& would have been back to work long ago if scabs had not shown up to impede the process), & the nurses from Illinois who successfully beat down 2 back-to-back raid attempts on their association & also made the world take notice of the Mary Grimes tragedy & put workplace violence against nurses in the news........

    These nurses & along with the others from Oregon NA, Michigan NA, Washington State NA, & Washington DC NA and the rest are phenomenal. I felt like I was surrounded by "celebrities" but they are all "just staff nurses" working at the bedside and who have decided to take control of their own workplace destinies......

    I am so proud of them & the work they (we) do and all that they (we) have accomplished as an organization....and I'm very proud of my organization - which is just 2 yrs old & already is the largest, most effective organization for RNs by RNs......

    I had lunch on Lobby Day with Sandra McMeans - the West Virgina Nurses Association/UAN nurse who works at a VA hospital in WV & who testified last week before the US Senate. Her testimony has been posted here previously. To look at her you would never guess she would ever do something like testify before Congress. She is a soft-spoken, dignified young woman and I was so impressed by her. She is also "just a staff nurse" and ontop of that, she is a SOUTHERN staff RN.... and unionized with the UAN.

    As are the nurses in Durham VA, NORTH CAROLINA Nurses Assoc/UAN, the UAN nurses in the VA Hospital at Tuscaloosa, ALABAMA, the nurses at Appalachian Regional MC, represented by the KENTUCKY Nurses Assoc/UAN,..... And every one of these associations had representation for the vote to affiliate with the AFL-CIO - and it was a unanimous decision - "AYE!!!"

    After once again experiencing the strength that being unified brings, & seeing the response & the respect that other groups, the media, the politicians, the people on the street who applauded us, have for us as nurses, I cant help but come away from something like this wondering why all nurses arent unifying, in fact, resist it! & how much strength we would have if nurses would just get together & use their power.........

    The air was charged over these last few days in DC because 100,000 UAN nurses moved to stand with thousands of like-minded nurses from other groups &, while retaining their independence as an organization, have become a collective voice of over 300,000 RNs, alongside the 40 million healthcare consumers in this country - the working man & woman & their families.
    All a force to be reckoned with....

    We were so energized over this that we couldnt sit down or sit still. Everone in the room was on his/her feet, chanting, whistling, clapping......

    Standing ovations for Mary Foley did not stop & she deserves them. She has done a remarkable job turning the ANA into one that is responsive to the needs of its members - the staff nurse. She has worked for the past 3 years to correct mistakes of a previous leadership that had left us out in the cold & she fully supports the collective bargaining nurses decision to move forward on accepting this full charter offered by the AFL-CIO.......

    This was an historic event and the media was all over us in DC. The affiliation does not change the structure of the ANA or its labor arm, the UAN, or its state associations, or its workplace advocacy program or its policies or its business or anything it does...

    ANA/UAN and AFL-CIO affiliated unions have worked together on many occasions over the years, as in the work they did in obtaining needed legislation such as the new nationwide Needlestick Prevention Law. The affiliation makes this cohesive connection a formal one, allows our organizations to work more closely together rather than in competition.......

    The welcome & congratulatory letters sent to us by many many AFL-CIO affiliated unions were very eloquent & encouraging. A particular favorite was the one from S. Feldman of the AFT, who has worked with ANA/UAN many times in the past........

    This affiliation IS a good thing. Nurses need to visibly be together & be heard. Unions need to focus all their efforts & resources on servicing their members, pushing for legislation, & organizing the un-organized nurses who want collective bargaining. This affiliation brings them together so they can do that without being at odds & spending resources competeing with each other........

    UAN nurses - AFL-CIO nurses - Theres no stopping any one of us now. The employers must be shaking in their shoes.

    -julie
    NYSNA/UAN
    http://www.NYSNA.org
    http://www.UANnurse.org
  5. by   Dplear
    UAN now affiliated with the AFL-CIO, whats next? An afflilation with the UAW? You have just blown your chance to be seen as a professional by linking uop with a TOTALLY blue collar union. I used to belong to the AFL-CIO when I was a pipefitter many years ago, and now I am proud to say that I do not need them at all, I can negotiate for my own wage and package. Another thing to remember is the orginized crime ties to the AFL-CIO, they still exist. Does this mean you are going to tie in your pension plans with them and their wonderful managemanet of those fyunds with disappearing monies?

    I think this is something that really ougth to be thought over real carefully by the rank and file of the UAN.... Personally I am not a member nor will I ever be, so I can see it from an non-union view. Becareful of what you wish for for you may get it and more than your bargained for.

    and to paraphrase the Army's new slogan of I am a soldier of one...I am a Union of one....myself
  6. by   natalie
    Julie,

    I knew you were there and was waiting to hear from ya. Your post gave me the chills! I could feel the electricity in the room when the unanimous vote came down. So glad to hear there were UAN southern nurses. Unity is a wonderful thing.


    Dplear,
    You should look further into the affiliation so you can present an argument with all the facts. ANA/UAN stands alone as a nursing association/union. It voted an alliance with AFL-CIO. Other professional unions under this alliance includes engineers, pilots, doctors, teachers. As for pension plans, which nursing pension plan are you referring to?
  7. by   natalie
    http://www.ahanews.com/default.asp#8

    UAN resolves to protest strikebreaking

    The United American Nurses' Labor Assembly this week passed a resolution denouncing U.S. Nursing Corp. for providing temporary replacement nurses during RN strikes and said it would use all available means to protest strikebreaking. In other resolutions passed during a two-day meeting ended yesterday in Washington, the 100,000-member union's policy-making body agreed to consider a proposal to establish a national strike fund, to increase its organizing budget, and to challenge health care employers to retain and attract U.S. nurses before using foreign nurses.
  8. by   Katmease
    I agree with Dplear. I was also a member of an AFL-CIO union years ago & I think it's an unprofessional move to form an alliance with them.
  9. by   NicuGal
    I worked for this union before I became a nurse and I can't complain about it. There are many professional branches to this union....and what is wrong with the UAW? My brother-in-law and many relatives work for Ford Motor and they have great pay and benefits. It isn't like we are ringing a cash register for god's sake!

    It is by far better than AFSCME....that is the one that keeps coming to us...that has our housekeepers and such in it...so is that a better one....I think not!
  10. by   -jt
    What are you all talking about? As far as our pension plans, those are NEGOTIATED into our individual local contracts BY US at our own individual facilities. We dont do a national pension plan.
    Didnt anybody read the post? We did not vote to merge with the UAW, AFSCME or anybody else. Its already been thought thru - for over 4 yrs - and we voted unanimously to accept the charter. We did not vote to become a part of another union. We voted to stand with the AFL-CIO & the thousands of RNs its unions represent. By the way, the color of my collar doesnt matter. My scrubs dont have a collar.

    <<100,000 UAN nurses moved to stand with thousands of like-minded nurses from other groups &, [B]while retaining their independence as an organization[B], have become a collective voice of over 300,000 RNs, alongside the 40 million healthcare consumers in this country - the working man & woman & their families. All a force to be reckoned with....

    The affiliation makes this cohesive connection a formal one, allows our organizations to work more closely together rather than in competition.......

    [B]This affiliation does not change the structure of the ANA or its labor arm, the UAN, or its state associations, or its workplace advocacy program or its policies or its business or anything it does... [B]>>

    FYI, remaining an independent organization was the only way in which would accept the affiliation.
  11. by   -jt
    Natalie, I thought of you a million times there! You would have loved every moment. I brought back a bunch of stuff just for you so send me an email with your address!
  12. by   Cdn_Psych
    Dplear, what are you talking about? AFL-CIO is not a union, it is an AFFILIATION of unions.

    Secondly, why do you think it is detrimental to nursing professionalism to associate with a "TOTALLY blue collar" organization like AFL-CIO? It makes you sound like a snob to me. Do you feel that you are somehow "better" than a tradesperson? It seems to me that nurses would be better off if we were more like those "TOTALLY blue collar" unions - I can't imagine them continuing to tolerate the outrageous and unsafe (for nurses and patients) conditions under which nurses ROUTINELY work.

    And just how "professional" are we anyway? I think we would all agree that Medicine, Law and Dentistry all qualify as professions. Every doctor, lawyer and dentist I ever met works on a fee for service basis (not an hourly wage). They get to control their own practice and determine whether or not they will accept you or me as a client. Do nurses get to do that?

    I remember a case here in Canada where nurses in an ICU were overwhelmed and refused to accept any more patients because it was unsafe with the load they already had. They attempted to act as professionals and take control of their own practice by declining to accept the new patients. They were subjected to disciplinary action by the hospital. They grieved the discipline and it was UPHELD by the arbitrator on the grounds that as employees of the hospital, the nurses could not be
    INSUBORDINATE and refuse to accept patients (even if, in their judgement, it was dangerous to do so). The arbitrator said they should obey and grieve. So much for being "professionals"!

    Remember, to the hospital, the doctor is an asset to be cherished because the doctor brings money into the hospital. The nurse, however, represents a liability - a COST! So nurses are (from the hospitals' point of view) a drain on resources and should be treated as a cost to be cut - replaced with cheap labour at every available opportunity.

    Real professionals don't work mandatory overtime. Nor do the overwhelming majority of those "TOTALLY blue collar" unions. Can you say the same about nurses?



    Originally posted by Dplear
    UAN now affiliated with the AFL-CIO, whats next? An afflilation with the UAW? You have just blown your chance to be seen as a professional by linking uop with a TOTALLY blue collar union. I used to belong to the AFL-CIO when I was a pipefitter many years ago, and now I am proud to say that I do not need them at all, I can negotiate for my own wage and package. Another thing to remember is the orginized crime ties to the AFL-CIO, they still exist. Does this mean you are going to tie in your pension plans with them and their wonderful managemanet of those fyunds with disappearing monies?

    <snip>
  13. by   Dplear
    SO you have never met a dr who is an employee, well I know of many docs who are employess just the same as you or me. Take Kaiser Permenete out in Ca., those docs work for the hospital, not themselves. or at least in this case the HMO, they recieve a salary the same as I do. Here in Texas the ER docs are EMPLOYEES ofvompanies that supply md's to ER's. Yes they make money on patients but to them it is a form of profit sharing. They have no control over how many patients they may see in a given shift. As for mandatory overtime, here in texas there is No such thing as that, It has been upheld here that since it is a right to work statde, I do NOT have to work longer than my shift. It is up to the hospital to provide staffing in case there is not enough nurses to work.

    Would you consider a CPA as a professional/ I would sure hope he is, and I know of many that work for large corporations as well as small companies.

    Docs and dentists that work for the government, they get a salary and not a fee base income, are they then not Professionals. It is attitudes like yours that will stop nursing from being taken as a profession, until you consider yourself a professional, (as you obviously sound like you don't) the public and more importantly your co-workers and tema members will not either.

    (and I did belong at one time to the AFL-CIO, as a pipe fitter...it is truely a union, and as for the pension plans, when you affliliate yourself with them it is encouraged that you invest in their plans and we know their track records of money handling and honesty.)
  14. by   Cdn_Psych
    Hi Dplear,

    I can't speak to the situation in Texas, having never worked or visited there. But I do know the situation where I am and from what I read in the media and on the net, it's pretty much the same elsewhere.

    Doctors here (in Canada) work on a fee for service basis. Nurses don't. Doctors here have control over their own practice - they decide when they'll work, where they'll work, whom they will or will not accept as a patient and whether or not they have a safe & reasonable workload. Nurses don't.
    Nurses (except in a few VERY unusual cases) are employees of hospitals (or other agencies) and despite their ambitions to be considered professionals (and despite the lip service paid to that "professionalism" by governments, hospitals and quasijudicial bodies), they are not, *IN ACTUAL PRACTICE*, treated as professionals.

    Actions speak louder than words, and despite professed respect for nurses expressed by governments, hospitals and quasijudicial bodies, let's look at what REALLY happens.

    Try refusing to accept another critically ill patient because you cannot safely care for the ones you already have. Despite its professed love and respect for nurses, the hospital can and WILL punish you for attempting to act as a professional by not accepting more than you can safely handle. Furthermore, that punishment will be upheld by a board of arbitration.

    Despite its professed love and respect for nurses, the hospital will seek to cut costs on our backs and to replace us with retrained kitchen workers or other unlicensed staff because deskilling the workforce saves on salaries. Meanwhile, the administrators who make these decisions get huge salaries and perks with obscene severance packages when they move on to the next hospital. Yup, they sure do respect our professionalism.

    And governments? They respect and value us as professionals, right? Suuuuurrrree they do. Nova Scotia is a case in point. Nurses there make a maximum of about $23 per hour (Canadian funds - about $15 in US funds). The nurses rejected the government offer and would be in a legal strike position in a few days. The government demonstrated its respect for the nurses' professionalism by pre-emptively eliminating their right to strike by passing a law making it illegal for them to strike, punishable by huge fines. Furthermore, the nurses are denied the opportunity to seek redress by an independent arbitrator. Instead, the government gives itself the right to unilaterally impose a "collective agreement" (talk about an abuse of the language!) on the nurses with whatever terms, conditions and wages it cares to set. As a final gesture of respect for the professionalism of nurses, the law stipulates that it cannot be reviewed by any court.

    Nova Scotia nurses are now threatening to resign en masse. So far, quitting hasn't been made illegal, so I guess they're not truly slaves yet. Yup, the government sure respects nurses as professionals.

    In British Columbia, nurses sought to pressure for better salaries and working conditions by taking all the breaks to which they are contractually entitled (no working for free) and refusing to do overtime. The BC government passed a law forcing them to stop their "job action" and stop refusing overtime. Whether this is legal or not is really irrelevant - the actions speak eloquently about the esteem and respect in which the professionalism of nurses is held.

    Here in Ontario, some hospitals have threatened to charge nurses with patient abandonment if they refuse to work overtime. The Premier of the Province is on record as saying that "Nurses are as obsolete as hula-hoop workers" (a remark which he has never withdrawn or apologized for making) and has publically identified nurses as being obstacles in the way of health care "reform" - more respect for our professionalism. Oh yes, and while busy trying to get himself and the other politicians a 42% raise (yes, that's right, FORTY-TWO PERCENT!), the Premier has declared that nurses can have only 2%.

    The fact is that, pleasant fantasies and comforting daydreams aside, beyond meaningless lip service, nurses are neither respected nor recognized as professionals, a point which you seem to have some difficulty comprehending.

    Nobody dares to treat skilled tradesmen, auto workers, doctors, dentists, lawyers, accountants or just about any other identifiable group in the same shabby way that nurses are treated.

    As Ann Landers likes to say, wake up and smell the coffee.

    It's time nurses started getting more assertive and acting like other unionized workers. That will improve our situation. Nobody respects a doormat. Organizing, standing up for ourselves and demanding that things change will make a difference.

    Elitist delusions about being viewed as professionals will not help, nor will smugly looking down our noses at those "TOTALLY blue collar" unions do anything to help us.

    Most of those "blue collar" types make more money than you or I do. They get more respect too, and that's a fact - whether you choose to recognize it, or not.

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